Sleepy Hollow 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run - Oct. 28, 2017

Another year, another fun day at the Sleepy Hollow 5K & Fun Run at the Hunt Rec. Center in Concord! We had a great team turnout on a gorgeous day. Families ran, PR's were beat (big time!), and everyone had a fantastic time. There were some great costumes too. Thanks so much to our awesome volunteers Julie, Gavin, Ella, Neka, Susan, and Kylee who came out to run. 

Vibes were flowing as it seemed that everyone had an incredible run today, and Stephen K., Ted O., and Will G. cranked out some big PR's. Stephen ran his fastest mile yet. Will ran a 2 minute 1 mile PR finishing in 8:04, then went out to rock the 5K in 35 minutes. Ted went out strong and finished strong and knocked 5 minutes off his 1 mile time. 

Congrats everyone! - Tory, Oliver, Walter, James, Will, Ted, Gavin, Jack, Stephen S., Christopher, Claire, Michelle, Erik, Stephen K., Eduardo, parents and siblings.

Happy Halloween!

Volunteer Day

Volunteers, parents, and siblings are at the heart of our program. Without you, this isn't possible! We took a little time at our Saturday practices to say

Thank you for being so giving of your time, energy, and spirit!

We also invited people to come out and see what volunteering with Verge is all about. With a team of many individuals who need one-on-one support to reach their potential, the need for volunteers is ever increasing and ongoing so, our work recruiting new volunteers never ends. It was so wonderful to see the new faces out there. The kids had a lot of fun running with you, and you provided guidance they wouldn't have otherwise had. Thank you, from the whole Verge gang! We look forward to you joining us again!

Little by little our support family grows. Ephemeral and shifting is the often nature of volunteerism, but even those whose lives diverge from us, they are still with us, and some come back as they can or as needed. Thank you for your continued support and involvement. I hope that speaks to how rewarding and fun working with the kids and young adults in a recreational and athletic environment can be.

Thanks to Marathon Sports for donating gifts and helping us say thank you. Thanks also to the parents who donated our raffle items. It means a lot to have the extra support of the community and families when needed. And thank you to our youth volunteer, Gavin, for your awesome job manning the sign-in table and calling the raffles! :)

For more info about volunteering with us, contact Amanda Russell at arussell@teamverge.org. Keep up with our whereabouts by visiting the calendar on our website.

Mayor's Cup XC, Franklin Park Boston - Oct 22, 2017

What a fun day! 8 kids on the team came out to run Sunday and we had quite a day. I can't express how proud I am of these kids. And the parents too. It's nerve wracking tossing your kid into something new. It was everyone's first cross country race, except for one kid. For some, it was their first race ever. It was great to have a group this year. It makes a big difference when you peers are there with you. They had a lot of fun together and the camaraderie kept nerves down and excitement up. Thanks to race director Steve Vaitones for the support and welcoming our team to the event. It is prime experience for our kids as they develop.

3 kids ran the 6-10 year old 1.1 mile race; 2 ran the 11/12 year old 1.1 mile race; 2 ran the 13/14 year old race; and 1 kid ran the 5K. Our athlete turned volunteer (he now runs with Lexington HS) also jumped into the 5K after running as a guide in one of the kids' races. 

We all gathered, then went out for our preview walk of the course at 9:15, then our warm up drills. Kids races started at 10, 10:15, and 10:30. The 5K started at noon. 

As always, Matt and I had a blast scurrying around the course from point to point to cheer them on.

We had two PR's set today! One by Mayor's Cup 3rd year veteran, 9 year old Jaden who shaved another 59 seconds off his time, finishing in 8:54! You could see the determination and confidence developed with experience in how he was running. It took 2 previous races for him to get to this point. His goal for next time will be pace control at the start and remembering that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. ;)

The other was a 5K PR by David who finished 19 minutes faster than any of his previous 5K's, finishing in 30:32! He's come a long way since his first few 5K's with me in the past 2 years of pulling him down the road the whole way, or doing side shuffles and skips and finding fun ways for him to mimic me that would move us forward. Sunday he ran the whole thing, and I did little more than guide him through the course! He was challenged though as I noticed in practice last week that every time he got tired he move to running right behind me. I assume it's to take the mental work out of it by almost being towed along by someone else's momentum. During the race when he got tired, he moved behind me. He wouldn't move back next to me with verbal instruction so I told him it's his race, he has to run next to me, and I would have to stop to get him back into position. It would confuse him for a minute and take a second for him to regroup and start up again next to me. We lost some time with this game, but he ran his own race! He's really become quite a runner, thanks much to mom taking him to the trails to let him run.

Two of the kids were sent out there on there own without guides with a goal of staying focused, navigating, and completing the course on their own. They did it! 

Another goal for one kid was to find his pace, as he's been practicing, and push himself a little, be comfortable with being uncomfortable, and to let go of worries and over-thinking. He ran a really strong first race, and even overcame a fall early on at the bottleneck turn with the masses. It's racing...it happens. Fantastic job out there!

Goal for others was to complete the course with their best effort. One did fantastic, and plugged away with her guide for a strong finish, despite a few moments of anxiousness. Another had very high personal expectations and has trouble understanding without experiencing first. He's a good runner, but he got overwhelmed with just how fast the fast kids are. He's young, and the experience and exposure to the race was the goal with him. He did not complete the course, but he is now armed with the experience he needs to become better, gain more realistic expectations, goals, and develop some focus, and finish it next year! Another kid also has very high self-imposed expectations, anxiety, and had a tough go at it. The goal was to gain the experience and use it to start on a path to developing more positive thinking, and learn to work to make herself proud (not others) by pushing through and discover her strengths. She succeeded today because she started; she chose to continue on when presented with the ultimatum and decision of giving up and not finishing, or continuing and finishing; and she finished (with the sprint finish she set out to do!). Great work! You demonstrated great personal strengths - determination and persistence, now we work on flipping the switch on those negative thought patterns.

Everyone wants their kid to succeed and to not get upset, and wants to know they will be safe when out of sight. Every kid wants to succeed, make others proud, or meet the image they have in their head of how things are going to go. Growth doesn't come from everything going well and right all the time, or from not experiencing new things. It's tough to watch or go through, but you bounce back and become better because of it. Running is an amazing tool to develop so many qualities that can be applied to everything else in life.

 

There is a success story in every perceived failure. You have to learn to find it, then use it to move forward.

Mayor's Cup was a huge success for our team!

Congrats everyone

2017 Summer Team Meet

Great job to everyone who came out to the track meet Saturday! It was a lightly attended summer, but we had a great season with lots of awesome volunteers! At every Lexington practice, every kid had someone to run with which made such a difference to the runners. Fantastic volunteers at run camp too. Thank you all!! We said a farewell for now to a few long term volunteers as well. You'll be missed and we wish you the best at college/next life adventure! 

Verge Run Camp - Summer 2017

What a difference 5 consecutive, consistent days makes. Nice work boys!! Thanks volunteer coaches! 

It was a fun week with lots of improvement in endurance, strength, balance, coordination, pacing, and focus. Keep it going!

2017 Indoor Track Team Meet

45 Verge team members came out to wrap up our indoor track season today, participating in the 50m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, Turbo jav, Shot Put, Softball Throw, and Standing Long Jump. It was so much fun and I'm immensely proud of everyone!

From the very first "Go!" they were swept up in the excitement of cheering each other on and giving their best efforts! The amazing thing about meets is that not only are they an awesome opportunity to bring together the incredible diverse group we have and for them to show off their individual strengths, but that even those who are hard to motivate in practice can't help but get excited and run like their feet are on fire, with smiles on their faces, and some competitive grit.  It's a joyous thing to witness and be part of. 

The meet ended with a ribbon award ceremony - ribbons to all for each event they did with results recorded, including 1st, 2nd, 3rd for each track event heat and field event.   Additional 2016 special award medals going to Makai Yerkes (BARRIERS AWARD for committing to believing in himself and facing and overcoming personal and athletic challenges and fears), Will Gannon (CONNECTIONS AWARD for his social growth and incredible team spirit he displayed in supporting his teammates consistently at practices), and Tyler Buckley (THRESHOLD AWARD for most improved athletically, and developing much independence).  These three guys are some of the original crew who started with us almost 2 years ago, come to 2-3 practices a week, and they have come a long way. Will has run several 5k's with the team and with dad, PR'ng most of them and has become quite a social dude with his teammates. Tyler runs more, further, on his own now, and even lets his competitive spirit motivate him. He claims to not like running, but I think he's pulling our legs or got bit by the running bug and doesn't realize it. Makai now runs with Lexington HS and is an assistant coach for us when he comes to help at practices, often gaining frequent remarks from parents about what a great coach he is. 

Thanks a million to the parents who helped with timing, ribbons, field events and anything else you got sucked into! Volunteers - as always, you are invaluable and we are lucky to have you! Thank you all. Great work team!!  Spring season starts April 23 - see you soon.

Thank You!

We met our goal for our annual donation drive this fall!  THANK YOU to all who gave in support of VERGE and our athletes and families. Donors will be recognized in our upcoming Newsletter.

We were also a recipient of a donation from the John Thomas & Special Friends Fund in November. THANK YOU so much for including us in your family.

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JUMP for VERGE! - This January, you can also help support us by having fun jumping with us. VERGE will receive 25% of proceeds.  Bring your friends!

VERGE Fundraiser Flyer.jpg

Sleepy Hollow Halloween 5k & Fun Run

A few pics from today's race. The team had a great time at the Concord Rec. Dept.'s Sleepy Hollow 5k and 1 mile Fun Run this morning!  Some great costumes out there too. Nice job everyone - JJ, Ryan, Jenna, Win, Neal, Kristen, Oliver, James, Ben, Luca, Eduardo, Marcus, Daniel, Matt, Steven, Yisak, George, Bernie & Tim (and Shaggy), families, and volunteers Minnie, Christina, Abby and Ella!! Congrats to those who ran their first race. 

I think "best costume" has to go to Steven (Captain America), "best finish" goes to Win (Goofy) (Steven and Daniel a close second), and "best moment witnessed by AJ" goes to Oliver having a blast doing the warm up to Thriller and Ghostbusters.  Huge thanks to Gretchen and her classmates for their awesome bake sale which raised $100 for Verge! 

Then it was on to Boylston for a great practice!  

Mayor's Cup XC - Oct. 23, 2016

The crazy wind early this morning was a bit threatening, but it turned into a beautiful day for running at the Mayor's Cup XC race in Franklin Park!  Here's a glimpse of a XC race through 8 year old Jaden's 1.1 mile race with the 6-10 year olds.  Such a fun morning.

Great job Jaden! He focused on staying focused today and PR'd by 40 seconds. He ran his first race last year, where he was very nervous and unsure of what to expect, but this year he was confident and relaxed.

Flutie 5k - Oct. 2, 2016

Great day for running at the Flutie 5k!  TIm's brother, Peter, joined us today and led the way to a 2nd place age group finish, with Makai trailing not far behind for a 5k road PR!!  Makai's been working hard on his HS XC team this year and we're so proud of him! Ryan and Coach AJ finished next, followed by Ryan's dad, Will and his dad, Makai's dad, then Andrew, our anchor, bringing it home for the team with his priceless excitement when he crosses a finish line. Tim's mom finished with Andrew and his mentor. Great job everyone!  

Summer Team Meet

The Peabody and Lexington/Cambridge groups came together to wrap up a hot summer season with our team meet on Saturday in Lexington! Summer attendance was fairly light, but we had a good turnout of 14 Saturday which made for a really fun morning.  We were having so much fun these are the only pics we got.

Everyone was required to do at least 2 track events.  Most also gave the field events a go too. Events were 100m, 200m, 400m, mile, softball throw, turbo jav, and long jump. There were a few goosebump moments, PR's, lots of smiles, and even more food.  Ribbons to all with their results for each event.

Thanks Coaches! And thank you to all the families for helping whether you brought food, were assigned a job, or cheered! 

Peabody Kickoff!

Thanks all for a great kick off clinic in Peabody today!  Thank you Dick's Sporting Goods for the new equipment. And thanks to Nicole Ogin who is enthusiastically coaching this group.

Nicole is a Personal Trainer and is also RRCA certified.  She has done work in the Peace Corps and has coached various groups of runners including a team of blind runners. Excited to have Nicole and her energy with VERGE!

It's hard to hand off, but I was so thrilled to meet everyone and even see a familiar face from Lexington!  Can't wait to get the groups together for future team events. 

Have fun everyone!  

Journey to fast!

Big day for this guy! New race chair! Well earned, I'd say, after a full year of training in his regular wheelchair, up to a mile around the track every practice, boring drills, and working those hills to build his "puffy" muscles - those are a favorite, but I think it was really all about the flying fast downs.  It's hard to stay motivated when you go faster running with your walker than on wheels. 

Without support, there's no journey, and this dude's got lots. Thanks Coach Matt P. & his wife for the generous donation, Timmy's parents, Coach Matt R. for preparing him for this big day and keeping him hanging in there through some frustrating times, Timmy's mom for her incredible persistent effort, and to our friends at Adaptive Sports NE/Paralympic Sports Club - such a friendly, welcoming, kind, and fun bunch of people who are helping along the way with the resources and programs they provide.  Let the journey to FAST continue!  Go Timmy!