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Students, Teachers and Parents Race For PTAs

Around 1,000 people came out Saturday morning to Rockland Lake for the third annual Kids Run 2, a race organized by the Clarkstown and Nyack School Districts.

A few days before the Kids Run 2 Race, a 2-mile race at Rockland Lake, Jacob Barrett was concerned about just one thing.

What would happen if he won?

“He asked if he could get a dog if he won,” said his dad, Doug Barrett, of New City. “I said sure. I didn’t think he had a shot at winning. But as soon as the race started, he took off and was up toward the front of everyone, and I spent the rest of the race trying to catch up to him.”

Doug Barrett agreed to the dog stipulation, because not only was it the longest race Jacob, who is 7, has ever competed in but also the first. And while Jacob didn’t end up winning the race, he left little room for improvement in his next race, finishing second among the hundreds of kids who competed.

“It was fun,” Jacob said. “I got a little tired at the end, but not too tired.”

His dad said he’s sticking to the win to get a dog agreement, so Jacob won’t be training for next year’s Kids Run 2 by jogging with a new puppy. But Barrett said finishing second is worth something, he’s just not sure what yet.

“I really thought he had no chance at winning, with it being his first race and a longer one,” Barrett said. “But I’m really proud of him for doing so well.”

Jacob finished the race in about 13-and-a-half minutes, and his dad finished in a little more than 16 minutes. They were just two of the estimated 1,000-plus participants in the third annual Kids Run 2, a fundraiser for the PTAs in the Clarkstown Central and Nyack School Districts put on by the participating PTAs and the Clarkstown Council of PTAs.

“It started as a way to encourage health and fitness in the schools,” said event co-organizer Lara Hutchins, of Valley Cottage, and a member of the Nyack PTA. “It was a way to bring kids and families together for something fun, too.”

The elementary and middle schools in both districts participated in the event, with students, parents and teachers from each school running in the race, and each school donating a gift bag to be raffled off to students from that particular school. Community sponsors also donated to the event things like water water and food so that all proceeds from registration for the race could be given to the PTAs

“The key is that it's so nice to see two school districts work together to create a family-friendly event that gets people outside and brings in funds for all the PTAs that will then get used for the kids,” said Ann Marie Ferraro, of West Nyack, and a member of the Clarkstown PTA.

Ferraro was one of many parents to volunteer at the event. She worked as a contact for Strawtown Elementary along with Hutchins, also an event co-coordinator. Other event coordinators for the race were Alisa Carbone, Laura Loughlin, Christine Mason and Katie Ottenheimer. Loughlin said the planning for the event began in the fall.

Although the race started at around 9:15 a.m. Saturday morning, at roughly 8 a.m. race-goers could start checking sponsors’ tables at the health fair portion of the event, where they could pick up some giveaways, like water bottles and drawstring bags.

Kids were also asked to fill out an exercise log for at least 20 days leading up to the race, which they would then hand in to be entered in a raffle for prizes. The exercise log had suggested workouts for kids, such as playing sports for endurance, a list of areas to stretch out for flexibility and some exercises to do for strength, like pushups, sit-ups, gymnastics and others. There were also some other workout tips on the sheet, such as making sure to rest at least one day a week, keep hydrated and that working out two or three days a week for about 20 minutes is the suggested minimum workout time for kids.

Before the race, the kids and adults were lead through some warm-up exercises, fittingly enough, to Olivia Newton John’s “Let’s Get Physical.” Then, perhaps even more appropriately, as the warm-up exercises finished and everyone started lining up to start the race, Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” played through the sound system.

As the race started, a sea of color passed, as each school was assigned a color and participants from that school were given T-shirts. The race started in Rockland Lake and went out onto Rockland Lake Road for about a mile before turning back toward the starting point. As all kids finished the race, they were awarded a medal.

Luci Lobo, 8, of South Nyack, wore her medal proudly after completing the race. She said she found out about the race because her school, Upper Nyack Elementary, sent home a flyer about it. She said she hadn’t run a race that long before, but wasn’t too tired just a few minutes after completing the two miles, and could run it again if need be. She ran along with her dad, Patrick Lobo.

“It was great,” he said. “We managed to run the whole way.”

Although the early parts of the morning saw some rainfall, and the sky stayed grey all morning, that didn’t seem to deter many people from coming out for the event. Hutchins said about 1,200 people pre-registered for the event and it appeared nearly that many people showed up Saturday.

“It was a similar turnout to the two previous years we’ve done the event,” she said. “Given the weather, I’m just happy to see so many families show up and get to go outside.”

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