We are honored to recognize Windham, NH Series, and it’s two outstanding leaders, Rich O’Loughlin (left) and Rebecca Clementi (right). This is Windham’s first ever series, and they had over 300 participants. O’Louglin had former Boston Red Sox 2004 world series champion, Orlando Cabrera (seen above), hand out the trophies and medals to the participants.
“Who are you?” What is your background with your family, community involvement, and running?
Rich: I have lived in Windham for over 43 years, and have a family history with community involvement. However, this is my first time running something big. I have two twin daughters, 11, who ran in the series this year, and have ran in the Andover series in the past. We are a very active family that loves being outdoors and getting involved with the community. Running is a big part of my life, and I run several 5k’s and half marathons a year. Rebecca and I have been dating for two years and our common love for running brought us together.
Rebecca: I just moved to Windham a few months ago. Running is not only my favorite form of exercise, but it is something I incorporate into my daily routine, that allows me to clear my mind. I have volunteered in the past, in the classroom and other school functions, but, this is my first time running an activity for the community. I have four kids, a set of twins who are 12, a 14-year-old, and a 8-year-old.
Why did you become a Community Coordinator? What drew you to start a
Healthy Kids Running Series?
Rich: Over the past few years, I have been looking for something to be apart of that will not only allow me to give back to the community, but something I am truly passionate about. After volunteering in the Andover series in the of Fall, 2015, I realized this is something I wanted to bring to Windham. I am tired of seeing children overweight, eating lousy and constantly on technology all day. I am really passionate about getting kids up and moving and experiencing the great outdoors. I think it is important to make health and wellness a priority in children’s lives because these are the habits they will use when they are older, and pass onto their children. After becoming a community coordinator, I feel there are no limits and I want more children to get involved and active.
Rebecca: I love that Healthy Kids Running Series is a family event. HKRS brings families together and is something that all the kids are able to be apart of. Every Sunday, we pack up our van and all of our children help us setup and run in the races. We invite all of our friends and family out to come watch and volunteer. I love that HKRS is a family affair and that being a community coordinator allows me to bring others together with their families.
How have you been impacted by starting a Series?
Rich: By starting a series I have realized that “ every movement starts in grass roots.” Only 10 people put together Windham’s race, and we had over 300 cheerful participants. When starting this race I hoped that I could make a difference, and after five weeks, I’m leaving this season knowing I HAVE made a difference. We had a few participants with disabilities and being able to boost their confidence and allow them to be apart of an organized sport was such a rewarding experience. One of our participants, who was scared to run the first week, said he is going to come back every season and has a new-found enjoyment for running. I have discovered a new passion in my life that is rewarding and allows me to make a difference in the lives of the people in my community.
Rebecca: Starting the Healthy Kids Running Series in Windham has been a gratifying and fulfilling learning experience. I have learned to go with the flow and sometimes things don’t go as planned. I also found it important to remind people that the point of these races is not winning, but coming together as a community to be healthy and have a good time. Each week I stood at the finish line and high fived each participant, and really got to know every kid that crossed the finish line. Starting this series has impacted me greatly, and I can’t wait to see where the future brings us.
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By: Colette Pickering