Track Races for Kids in the Happy Valley

Mash Notes to Paradise by Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Note 26, Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club

(Photo credit: Sarah Buttenwieser)

I got an inkling that running in some organized fashion could be fun for kids when my third grader decided it would be cool to do the run portion of Safe Passage’s Hot Chocolate event. There’s a two-mile walk we’d done numerous times and a 5K run. We ran. Well, we jogged and walked. We loved it.

❥ The Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club knew about this kids-like-to-run thing too. I guess that’s why they organized a series of track races for kids and why it’s become a giant social scene. When I took Remy there last Tuesday, otherwise known as the most glorious day of weather in 2013—and I challenge 2013 to do better but c’mon, keep trying pretty please—I felt as if I’d stumbled in upon everyone.

(Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Picture the high school track. Picture swarms of children in t-shirted rainbow array, on the grass or on the track. Picture their parents on bleachers and on the grass. Picture more children, mostly the younger siblings doing whatever it is younger siblings do at events like this (a combination of hanging on their parents, pulling their parents around or cavorting together). There you go.

To quote my ten-year-old that very evening: “Track was so much fun!”

Note: the amazingly organized organizers keep the event going despite the chaos generated by so many participants and so many parents.

As happens around this little Valley, there are these scenes—and well, I just had no idea.


Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah is a writer, who lives in Northampton with her husband and four children. She contributes to Preview Massachusetts Magazine, as well as other publications and writes a parenting blog Standing in the Shadows at the Valley Advocate. She moved to the Valley to attend Hampshire College—and found the Valley such a nice place, she stayed!

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