Go Far started with just a few of us running around a field up at John Lyman school 7 years ago. I would go up to the school and run with the kids, beg some parents to help and try to convince people I wasn’t crazy for doing it. The one thing that has always been the key to the program’s success is having the community accept it. At first I wondered if it was possible.
(See the results here )
At Saturday's Go Far, Go Fast, I saw my community embrace Go Far’s wellness concept and the enormous energy that came it. Somehow , the program seems to have taken a step beyond acceptance by becoming part of the fabric of our town culture. If we build our children’s asset’s together, we’ll build their future and in the end, we’ll build our community.
While Go Far Go Fast is technically a running race, somehow it transcends the typical definition of it. I believe it’s all in the details. It comes from watching older kids mentoring younger ones. It comes from our local business not only donating money and services, but donating their creativity and energy. It comes from the teachers that embrace the program all year at school and then come out on their day off, to celebrate their students well being. It comes from the kids, who without prior knowledge of what their efforts will bring, trust us to get them to the finish line. Finally, it comes from the parents who believe in not only the potential in their own child, but everyone else’s.
This year’s race found success due to the efforts of so many. (Spoiler alert: This may take a while)
• The race committee that plays together in the sandbox better than any organization out there and it shows. You are the inspire-crew!
• RSD 13, who embraces us and accommodates our constant needs and helps us execute our craziest ideas. Educators that support this program give it importance.
• Our local teams, especially baseball and soccer, who give us the morning out of their very busy schedules. Thanks for sharing!
• The Durham Fairgrounds who gives this event a welcoming home, especially to you Hans Pederson for what you do.
• The Newington Bicycle crew( Timing Plus New England), who timed things perfectly in an atypical race set up. Because of you, Becky Finnerty had no migraine at the end of the day.
• A special thank you to Jen and Kevin Zettergren, who bravely reached out to the children giving this event poignant meaning.
• Our high school running mentors, who skipped sleeping in for betterment their community and themselves.
• For those (too many to write) who set up and took down the event in oppressive heat, I can’t thank you enough. I could write a whole blog on this crew.
• Woman’s Club, that was a lot of watermelon! Thanks for being everyone’s mom yesterday.
• Our friends at Durham EMT, for keeping the boo boos well bandaged and for your expertise when problems arise.
• For our sponsors. I don’t like to use the word sponsor, because your much more like a family to Go Far. You have enabled the success of this program.
• Local Wellness Council, thank you once again for trusting the vision of Go Far
...Cory Hassman, thanks for the great t-shirt design.
• Our school mentors, who willing act loony enough to keep kids running all year long.
• Parents for supporting our mission. We know your busy, but you’re the structural beam of this community.
• Personal friends who showed up to support this project when I know they have other stuff to do.
• To the kids who we all love and believe in. We’re committed to seeing you through your childhood because we believe in your future.
• To Becky Finnerty, the organizational brain behind all of this and my better Go Far "other half".
• My family, who are my rock. Pete and Kate. You inspire me every day. This all started with you! Chris, without the "follow me" guy, we would all be lost.
( See Lots more pics via facebook)
Enjoy the summer, keep running and well see you in September !