Track Club’s 38th Season of Fun Runs Gets Rolling

A popular weekly summer activity for area kids and their families is back, with the 38th season of the Greater Derry Track Club (GDTC) Summer Fun Runs taking place Thursday evenings at Pinkerton Academy.

The season began June 25 and continued July 2, bringing out more than 440 competitors.

Large crowds showed up both evenings, and the community support of the program got off to a great start, with 370 pounds of non-perishable food donated – the third highest total donated on an opening night in the last 10 years.

On July 2, the registrants brought 352 more pounds of food.

Registrants at each of the Thursday night fun runs are asked to bring a non-perishable food item as their registration fee; the food is donated to the Saint Thomas Aquinas Food Pantry in Derry.

At the July 2 race, among the 9-year-olds, Derry’s Nathan Donovan and Finn Christensen were first and second among the males, and Susie Henley of Derry finished second.

Among the 10-year-old girls, Derry residents Jadyn Smith, Alli Carney, and Natalie Hayes swept the top three spots.

Among the 11-year-olds, Brandon York snared second place for the males, and 12-year-old competition saw Derry males Ben Borges and Dom LeFrance finish first and third respectively, and Aleksandria Carney wind up second for the girls.

Week one results had found Derry kids excelling. In the 9-year-old division, the boys’ race was won by Derry’s Michael Huffman, with Derry resident Nathan Donovan snaring third. And Derry girls swept the top three spots in that age group, thanks to the work of Aleoh Angui, Susie Henley, and Eva Roberts respectively.

Among the 10-year-olds, Daniel Zabriskie and Mateo Veduccio, both of Derry, bagged second and third respectively, and Alli Carney and Jadyn Smith snared second and third respectively.

And in competition among the 12-year-olds, Ben Borges was best among the boys and Aleksandria Carney finished second among the girls.
Registration takes place at 6 p.m. each Thursday, with the races starting at 6:30 p.m. Future summer fun runs are July 9, 16, 23, and 30.
Each week, the children are led in stretching exercises and given running tips by Greater Derry Track Club members. Then the 2- and 3-year-olds run 50 meters, ages 4 to 6 run 200 meters, ages 7 and 8 cover 300 meters, 9- and 10-year-olds do 600 meters, and the 11 to 13s run a cross-country mile. Youngsters older than 14 run an open mile on the track, and that race often brings out elite high school runners from the area.

Children receive participation ribbons each week, supplied by the Derry Recreation Department. Water, Gatorade, and watermelon are also supplied each week. Runners who complete the entire series will receive both medallions and T-shirts from the track club.