Encouraging Lifelong Runners

Start of the kids 1 mile race.

I still remember doing my first road race. It was the Cary Arboretum 2 miler. That was 30 years and 20,000+ miles ago. I’m committed to training properly now, but I  didn’t train for that first race.  On second thought, it is more accurate to say I didn’t know I was training for the race.

I had, like most kids, spent years running everywhere I went. I ran to my friends’ houses. I ran to get the mail. I ran playing tag, football, and kill the carrier. We had impromptu races on the play ground to see who was the fastest kid in the class.

Sign at my neighborhood elementary school playground.
Sign at my neighborhood elementary school playground.

As a runner, and a former kid, you can imagine my horror when I saw the above sign at my neighborhood elementary school playground. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I decided this must just be some sign that the playground manufacturers had to put up. Unfortunately that is not the case. My neighbor who has two kids at the school informed me that her kids complain daily about not being allowed to run during recess (although some teachers will occasionally turn a blind eye). No running during recess, because it is too dangerous!

Race Wally!
Race Wally!


While it saddens me that kids are growing up being told they aren’t allowed to run, I am all the more thankful I get to give kids a chance to become lifelong runners. For several years now the Mid-Hudson Road Runners club, with generous support from MVP Health Care, has offered free preregistration for kids races at many of their events. For the past five years, the Wally Waddle has had both a 100 yard Wally Dash (for kids 6 and younger) and a 1 mile race (for kids 13 and younger). The 100 yard dash requires no registration and is held just before the start of the 5k on the rugby field at Vassar Farms. The 1 mile race is free if you preregister your child at www.mhrrc.org and only $5 on race day ($10 gets you registered and a great kids t-shirt).

Finishing the 1 mile race.

So join us this Mother’s Day and set your child on the path to lifelong fitness!

  • Sunday May 8, 2016 at Vassar Farms in Poughkeepsie, NY
  • 7:30-9:00 am Race Day Registration and Preregistration packet pick up
  • 9:00 1 miles kids run (13 and under)
  • Kids shirts will be on sale for $10 at race day
  • 9:30 am 5k run/walk
  • 10:30 (or thereabouts) the awarding of the pies to 5K age group winners!

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