2018 Mayor's Cup XC Races

Fantastic day at Mayor’s Cup XC! Cross country is a ton of fun, and a unique challenge in running. This event is a blast and gives our kids an opportunity to run with their own age groups, and experience what it’s all about. It speaks to those with a competitive streak while also challenging everyone at their own level. If nothing else gets you, the second half of Bear Cage Hill will!

Five kids made it out yesterday on a chilly, rainy morning. (A few were sick - we missed you!) Thankfully, the rain ended by 9 and it turned into a great morning. We met up, got our bibs, preview walked the course together, kept warm with some jogging and a few drills, then it was go time. Everyone was nervous, but they were excited and had a lot of fun! And they did awesome!!

Congrats to Ted, Tony, Zadie, Avery, and Gavin! This was everyone’s first XC race except for Ted, who PR’d his time by 2.5 minutes! So for the most part, it was just about getting out there and doing it yesterday, and for a couple, proving to themselves that they CAN.

Thanks so much to Reza for guide running!

So much fun. Great job everyone!

Summer Run Camp 2018

(Scroll down for Gallery of photos)

Another fun week of summer run camp has come and gone!

Congrats to Gavin, Jack, Zadie, George, Jaden, Shea, and David on your week of hard work, play, and lots of improvement. Thank you immensely to all our awesome volunteer coaches for coming out each day to make it a great experience for each kid!! Reza, Nate, Mairead, Matt, Alli, Rachel, Amelia, Marina, Amanda A., and Makai. With each runner needing 1:1 coaching, it takes many volunteers to cover them for the week. Thank you for sharing your time, talents, and spirit.

We ran Mon, Wed, Fri at the track, and Tues, Thurs on the trail. We worked on stamina, pacing, team work, speed, form, reaction time at "go!", following thru the finish, coordination, balance, core strength, self calming with deep breaths, and various individual mental aspects and practicing positive behaviors. The week ended with a 100m race and a timed 1 mile, awesome form and focus with drills, and working together on exercises instead of with their coaches. Each day ended with writing about their workouts in their journals. Whether they can only note the weather, distance run, and write their names, or could include their achievements, goals, and challenges, journals encourage everyone to reflect on their experience.

I love the condensed and small nature of camp week. It not only gives the kids a chance to bond and develop in ways that they can't with the lack of frequency or routine of only once weekly or occasional attendance at regular practices, it also gives me a better chance to develop coaching and the program by learning, experimenting, testing, applying, and gaining food for thought and ways to better run regular practices or work with certain individuals. It energizes.

Working with such a wide range of personalities, cognitive and physical abilities, and anxiety and attention difficulties is a challenge above training typical young runners in the moment, but when you step back and look from a distance, it's all the same. Everyone has fears, fatigue, moods, doubts, individual physical issues, is motivated by something or other, wants to connect with others at some level or other, has their own idea of fun, and has the ability to become a better runner.

If there is one thing life and sport has taught me, it's that growth is a slow process; and that there is a right and wrong time to expect, push, or require something of someone, including ourselves. Verge runners have taught me to finally relax and truly appreciate and believe in the value of the long game. At Verge, we are more patient and flexible than a typical program. I do also know that frequency and routine are very important for progress, so the week long program gives us a chance to capitalize on it.  I never don't have these kids on my mind and may let things fly that appear to need immediate addressing, but I am always watching, waiting, feeling for the moment to pounce, subtly if possible so the growth is their own when they are ready. I am not a wow factor inspirational type and have difficulty speaking. This is how our volunteer coaches play such an important part as mentor and inspiration to our runners, in addition to assisting them with instructions, doing their exercises and drills correctly, keeping time, and staying focused. Thank you again to our volunteers.

Great job team!! Have an awesome summer. See you soon.

2018 Info - Happy Spring!

With our 3rd, and fantastic winter season now behind us, here is info for the rest of 2018. For a recap on the indoor team track meet, go HERE.

 

Spring Season…SIGN UP now!

April 15 – June 20

Attend any combination of locations/days. 2-3x/week is recommended (Boston area).

SCHEDULE

N. Cambridge, Danehy Park

Mondays: 6-7pm  |  Wednesdays:  6-7pm

Lexington Center Track

Sundays:  9-10:15am  |  Thursdays:  6-7pm

Concord, Emerson Fields Track

Sundays:  10:45-11:45am

Boylston, Tahanto HS Track

Sundays:  12:45-1:45pm

 

End of season team events:

June 10 - Run for Lovelane 5K and fun run in Weston.

June 17 – Team Meet, Lexington (Boylston group – we will take a vote on joining Lex. or holding a separate event in Boylston.)

 

Summer

 

NO SUMMER PRACTICES

Summers have been very lightly attended with everyone on vacations. Enjoy the sun and stay active!

 RUN CAMP

This is a one-week evening program in July, Mon-Fri at the Lexington Track and Battle Road Trail.  If there are enough people interested, we will hold a second week to accommodate. More info on the programs page of the website, or talk with AJ if you are interested! Sign ups will start in late May.

 

Fall

 

Sept. 9 – Nov. 11

SCHEDULE TO BE DETERMINED  (most likely to be the same as Spring Season)

 If you are interested in Cross Country, this is the season!

We will participate in the Mayor’s Cup at Franklin Park in October again. If there is enough interest, we may also run at the Wayland XC Fest in October.

End of season team road race will most likely be the Sleepy Hollow 5K + Fun Run in Concord again…everyone has such great time at that, and the course is flat!

 

New!...

 

 Adaptive Motor Skills for Strength & Sport

Our current session ends mid April. Keep an eye out for upcoming sessions at the Lexington Community Center.

Classes are led by our volunteer, Julie Goff, who is a pediatric physical therapist. Classes will be age appropriate; we hope to break them into 2 separate classes in the future:

Kids, ages 5-10  |  Teens and young adults, ages 11+

(The age split is not a hard line. Those on the edge may choose which session is more appropriate for them. There will be more emphasis on core strength and focusing on good form in the older session.)

 

Group/Family Trail runs

Get together for some group runs on the trails!

Trails offer a great way to just go at your own pace, spend time together, and enjoy the outdoors.

Suggested: Mark ½ mile or 1 mile stretch along a path; put a parent, or someone not running, at each end, and put a parent, or someone not running, with water halfway. Let the group run together, or at their own pace. They will pass each other often. This is how we do it at run camp, and everyone has a great time!

Interested?...get some families together, or let me know and I will coordinate!

GREAT TRAILS that are fairly flat, wide and safe (packed sand/dirt):

1. Battle Road Trail in Lincoln/Concord along Rte 2A (start from Minuteman Visitor’s Ctr, or Paul Revere Site for flattest part of trail.)

2. Mass Central Rail Trail in West Boylston.

 

Also New...

 

 LOGBOOKS!

Finally. I have put them together and will begin encouraging their use! You can now go to the Logbooks tab on the maine menu bar.

Why? Logbooks put it all into perspective and keep you in touch with your running. They make it personal; they enforce ownership of your running.

Kids and adults, regardless of cognitive ability, benefit! Logs are a fun, fantastic tool and sidekick. Even if the most you can do is note the weather, how far you went, and maybe how you felt, you have a wonderful record and pattern of your activity and progress to look back on with pride. 

Keeping a log of your running can help to:

·      keep you motivated, develop routine, learn persistence

·      track your progress over weeks, months, and years

·      find patterns: patterns of motivation; possible causes of injury; fatigue and overtraining

Whether you thrive on recording details or find it mundane and pointless, in time you will have a very cool record of how you progressed, where you went wrong, where you went right, and even if you don't keep at it...years from now you may look back at it with a sense of nostalgia, pride, and rekindled motivation.

Instead of issuing books to each member, I have decided to post the pages individually online. This way, you can keep your logbook as you wish and just print out new pages when you need them, and it helps keep our costs down. Size: 8.5 x 11. I suggest using a 3 ring binder. I welcome any feedback on how this is working out for you and any suggestions for changes, including graphics that would be helpful for our crew that communicates with images! 

Logs will be encouraged at practices, and required at camp.

 

LOGBOOK PAGE LINKS

also available on the menu bar of website

MILEAGE LOG CALENDAR

INSTRUCTIONS: Input your total mileage for each day you run. Write in the weekly total at the end of the week. Write in the monthly total at the end of the month. The calendar is kept very general in order to be adapted to any year.

RUNNING TIPS AND GUIDELINES

available soon...

This page has all kinds of helpful, general info! Print it and keep it in your logbook for reference:

·      Track and race distances

·      What happens to your body when you run

·      Important tips for performing your best

·      Injury and injury prevention info

DAILY LOG SHEETS

Fill these out every time you run. In the Workout Details section, you should include any of the following that apply:

·      specific workout details (what did you do)

·      pacing info, and notable times if you timed anything

·      goals

·      accomplishments & challenges

·      who you ran with

·      anything else you want to note

 

Happy spring! See you at the track and park soon. 

(April showers...just a reminder that we run in light rain, cancel in heavy rain.)

-AJ

2018 Indoor Track - Team Meet

Awesome job today team! I even managed to get a few pics.

50 runners of all ages and abilities, so many heats, tons of smiles, super efforts, fun and gritty competition, improved confidence, seriously amazing cheering from your fans in the stands, and overall wonderful spirit from you all!  Events: 40m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1 Mile, 40m Hurdles, Turbo Jav

Thanks to all the families and volunteers for another great winter season!

Spring Season starts April 15!!  SIGN UP 

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!