Friday, November 20, 2015

Carlisle, MA Intergenerational Road Races

This guest post appears courtesy of Patti Russo of Carlisle, Massachusetts. All photos courtesy of The Carlisle Mosquito.

Walk or Run! Just Have Fun!

On a cold and rainy Veterans Day in Carlisle, MA, over 160 runners and walkers toed the starting line for the town’s first intergenerational road races. Participants ranged in age from 4-91.

This event “for all ages” is one of many intergenerational events sponsored by the Carlisle Council on Aging (COA).

With all ages in mind, the race committee chose to make the race a “run/walk” instead of only a run to make it accessible to older adults. Both races included winning age group categories of 80-89 and 90+ in order to recognize older participants.

Several grandparents participated with their grandchildren.

Charlie Rubel, 6, with his grandfather
Kevin Smith. (Photo by Ellen Huber)
Among them was Kevin Smith who ran the one-mile race with 6-year-old grandson, Charlie. Charlie earned a medal for the 10 and under age group. Kevin, who won in the 60-69 age group, said that he and Charlie had a wonderful time together and hoped to run again next year. 

The Reid/Plante family also had a multigenerational showing. 

Kate and Mark Reid ran the one-mile race with their 6-year-old grandson, Roland Plante, while Alison and Doug Plante, Roland’s parents, ran the 5K.

There was a lot of positive energy and a great intergenerational vibe throughout the morning. 

It was cool to see all ages pin on a bib and bond over this shared experience of running a race together. Seventy doesn’t seem all that different from 17 when everyone’s out there finishing a race in the rain.

I know I speak for the entire race committee when I say how pleased we are with the way the day unfolded. 

In one morning, we honored veterans and shattered (or at least cracked) a few stereotypes about what it means to be an older adult, we supported nationwide public health initiatives to sit less and move more, and we provided an opportunity for the community to gather and connect. 

Click here to view enlarged image. (Left Photo by Beth Clarke) Gertrud Behn, left, and Jean Sain
finish the race with Sain first in her age category (80-89) and Behn one second behind in the same age
group. (Center Photo by Ellen Huber) Tahleen Shamlian, left, (20-29) and Patti Russo (50-59) both
won their respective age groups in the 5K race. 
(Right Photo by Beth Clarke) Angela Smith and
Santo Pullara cross the one-mile finish line. Pullara, 91, was the oldest finisher.
Everyone’s asking for more, so it looks like the Carlisle Intergenerational Road Races will be an annual event.

Read the Carlisle Mosquito's story on the Carlisle Intergenerational Road races.

Patti Russo, race committee member, is a Certified Poetry Therapist and a strong advocate of intergenerational programs and policies. She lives and runs in Carlisle, MA.

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