"I'm not a runner, but I run." That was always my response when people brought up running in conversation. However, in the last few months (with a lot of extra time for reflection), I have changed my tune. Running has now been part of my life for over twenty years. After a long “career” in swimming, I graduated from college and could not run (pardon the pun) fast enough from the pool.
I dabbled with gyms and all sorts of classes but seemed to be pulled outside after working all day. So, while living in Atlanta, I bought some proper running shoes and hit the road. Despite the very hilly terrain and heat of Atlanta, I slowly gained endurance and entered a few races. My favorite race was the famous Peachtree Road Race with its 70,000 runners.
After running that road race, I felt not only a sense of accomplishment but was quietly thrilled by being part of something much bigger than me. Since then, my running has ebbed and flowed with my busy life but has endured. When I was having babies, it was my incentive to get out there and get back in shape, a few miles at a time.
When my children were little, it was the thirty-minute escape I so desperately needed at times. The 5k and 5-mile races I ran over the years were all about fun and participation for me, but the half marathons and 10-milers tapped my inner competitiveness. They came at a time when I needed a goal and a focus that centered on me and not my family. I could not resist that phone call from a friend getting a group together to run a race because it meant a fun weekend away with “my girls.”
In the last few years, I’ve dialed back my running to a few times a week. My focus, for the moment, has turned to longevity and overall health with my running. I’ve also focused more on running with my kids, especially since March! This seems to be just my speed for now.
I never qualified for Boston, nor did I ever try. I have not run a full marathon, but I still have time. I think that is what I love about running; it can be whatever you want or need it to be at any given time. There is accomplishment and camaraderie at every level.
With another LS 5K coming up, I look back at all the years my family has participated. My husband, who is a way more accomplished runner than I am, has run the race for years, and we are still drinking out of some of the “prize” glasses he won years ago. My older boys started with the kiddie dashes many moons ago and now are both running cross country with RBR. My younger girls are both graduating from the 1-miler to the 5k. This year, I am sure the men in my life will speed past me, but I will be very content to coach my girls through their first 5k.
So, to everyone running the LS 5K this year … GOOD LUCK, HAVE FUN, and remember, you are a runner!
By Kristin Richards
After being asked to write for the LS5K blog, I wondered how I would be able to describe the impact that running has had on my life to this point. I struggled how to convey that the essential part of my experiences has revolved around a team and community.
One day, as I was treating the shins of a high school runner in our Little Silver office, I looked over his shoulder where a picture hangs of my winning Stanford team from the Penn Relays. To my left, there was another photo of my sister and me as we victoriously approached the finish line in the high school Cross Country Meet of Champions. Careful not to ignore my patient while in this reminiscent state, I couldn't help but take a quick sneak-peek at the high school national distance medley relay winning singlet. The garment, signed by all my former winning teammates, was hanging on the wall behind me.
I call this "my room." If you have been to the Little Silver office, you know this. That too is another reason why this moment was particularly special. I don't often get an opportunity to reflect on the past and the impactful experiences that have gotten me to where I am today in the town where my journey began.
My journey went like this: I had a successful run as a track runner in high school. I was then treated by a world-renowned sports podiatrist in my hometown of Little Silver. I went off to compete at a great university on a scholarship. Then I finally returned home to model my career and to work with my mentor and caregiver, Dr. John Connors. What could be better? Combining two passions of mine and making a living doing it!
It was one of those moments where I took a second to say, "Wow! My accomplishments are something to celebrate." I had reservations in putting such large photos of me on the wall. I certainly didn't want to come across as a braggart being a relatively new physician in town. But these pictures are a celebration of a team, a community, and the risk-taking, accomplishments, satisfaction, and the glory that the sport of running yields.
With race day just one month away, I think back on my most memorable Little Silver 5K. I was a sophomore at RBR. I recall someone telling me that I had to "watch out for a young stud runner," a rising star in middle school, who was going present a serious challenge for me. Her name is Christina Nelson (now Friscia). Little did I know that this running phenom, my competitor at the time, would become one of my teammates, and one of my best friends. She was also a key member of our national record-breaking relay team in high school. Words can not describe the relationship formed by fighting and competing together as a team for the championships we won together.
When I think about the Little Silver 5k, I think about Christina. As running so often does, the race, against her at the time, allowed me to challenge myself, step to the line, and take risks. And, as running so often does, Christina provided me with lifelong friendship and the glorious, joyful memories that celebrate not only our team, but our coaches, school, and family.
When I stand in "my" exam room, surrounded by the pictures and memorabilia, I reflect on how grateful I am for the experiences like the Little Silver 5k that have put me here.
From the bottom of my heart, I wish all participants of the Little Silver 5k, the best of luck! Most importantly – please enjoy the ride!
By Kathleen Q. Trotter, DPM
Katy Trotter, DPM, is one of the most accomplished high school runners to ever come out of New Jersey. While attending Stanford University, Dr. Trotter became an eight-time All American and two time National Champion while competing on the cross country and track and field teams. After earning her undergraduate degree at Stanford, Trotter moved to Chicago and attended the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine in Chicago. Dr. Trotter treats patients in the Little Silver office of Dr. John F. Connors, DPM, Dr. Ana J. Sanz, DPM & Kathleen Q. Trotter, DPM
“What is the mission of the Little Silver 5K?” Besides being a well-executed Fall race with a flat, fast course located in a small Jersey Shore town off the GSP Exit 109, the LS5K has been helping Little Silver Schools for 26 years and even more so lately. This USATF Certified Race, great for elite runners and weekend warriors, has become a major fundraiser for the Little Silver PTO.
Parent Teacher Organizations, or PTOs, have evolved tremendously in recent years and are no longer like the PTOs of past generations. In New Jersey, cuts in public school funding from the state, a 2% cap on the tax levy, and rising costs for things like special services, have caused school districts like ours to struggle to stay afloat.
Little Silver prides itself on being a small town with exceptional schools. Our school officials have been working hard to keep our district top-notch and to advocate for positive change. A recent article published on centraljersey.com features our Superintendent,
Dr. Carolyn Kossack and her quest for increased special education funding for state schools.
While some schools have seen cuts in faculty and changes to extra-curricular programs and the arts, to keep our schools top-notch, the Little Silver PTO’s (LSPTO*) fundraising efforts have grown to support this budget crisis as well as supplement our district’s goals of enriching the social emotional health of Little Silver students and helping them become good global citizens.
The LSPTO utilizes an annual budget of over $80,000 and works to enhance the experience of students with enriched cultural programs as well as support our dedicated administration and faculty. We have strategic planning meetings with the community and school administration, cultivate positive working relationships with local businesses, and count on the hard work, dedication, and contributions of business sponsors and parent and teacher volunteers.
In the 2018/2019 school year, for Little Silver Point Road Elementary and Markham Place Middle School the LSPTO managed or funded:
$10,000 of over thirty teacher grants including:
• Curriculum enhancements
• Life skills field trips
• Music/theater workshops and subscriptions
• New technology
• Classroom seating
• Kindergarten water/sensory tables
$26,000 of cultural arts programs including:
• Character building
• Climate change and environmental awareness
• Award-winning author visit by Gordon Korman
• Cultural and music appreciation assemblies and workshops
An after-school extra-curricular program of 13 courses including:
• Coding and other STEM programs
A speaker series for parents on topics such as:
• Nutrition & wellness for families
• The importance of healthy sleep in adolescents and adults
Annual community traditions such as:
• Community Outreach Bag Brigade (this year for the Monmouth County SPCA)
• Father-Daughter Dance
• Mother-Son event
• Talent Show
• Book fairs and Art Show
• 4th-grade moving up brunch and clap out
• 8th-grade graduation dance
Teacher appreciation events and $10,000 towards Principal budgets.
Maintenance of school courtyards and an outdoor progressive mural project at Point Road School were also funded by the LSPTO.
The fundraising efforts needed to provide these enhancements that make our schools so unique have majorly transformed over the years. The Little Silver 5K, initially started by a group of parents in 1993, celebrated its 25th Anniversary last September and became the largest annual fundraiser for the LSPTO in 2016. Dedicated volunteers, sponsors, elite runners, and weekend warriors have grown the race into what it is today.
Being a part of the Silver Anniversary Race and honoring those who started and transformed this important fundraiser was one of the highlights for me as the Co-President of the PTO in 2018.
As the races have grown, so have the expenses. Race logistics, security, t-shirts, and prizes, not to mention the well-attended after party are ALL planned with an attention to detail. This year’s Race Directors, Michelle Koster, Christine Livingston, and Meagan Skinner along with the support from other dedicated LSPTO volunteers have made incredible enhancements to both corporate and family sponsorship levels this year.
The fundraising efforts of parent-teacher organizations twenty-five years ago may have been less demanding than they are today, but it was undoubtedly similar in its goals of bringing enhanced curriculum and cultural arts programs as well as a heart to public schools. Every dollar earned by the LS5K goes directly to funding the annual budget of the Little Silver PTO.
The broader issues in public education demand more significant fundraising, but here in Little Silver, we’re doing the very best we can for the benefit of the kids and the teachers too. Every sponsor and every foot that crosses the finish line is lending a hand and for that we are forever grateful.
Written by Normajean Swiss, Past Co-President, Little Silver PTO, 2017 - 2019
*The LSPTO is a non-profit, 501c3 organization and has approximately 600 member families.
By Michael Lauro
"Running is the best thing ever!"....said no one...ever. Ok, perhaps this has been said by a few die-hards out there (you know who you are), but for most, running conjures up feelings of pain and misery. Let's face it, when you see someone running how often are they smiling?
So why do I it? I won't list all the health benefits that come with running but I do want to talk about two overlooked aspects, most notably goal-setting and self-motivation.
My personal experience with running now allows me to view things differently both in running and in life. I was never a runner growing up. I played sports but didn't participate in track. I ran on occasion for health and wellness but wasn't exactly breaking any land speed records.
When I moved to Little Silver 10 years ago, I saw a flyer for the Little Silver 5k. At that point I had never run an organized 'race' of any kind, but decided to leave my comfort zone and give it a shot. My goal was simply to finish the race feeling good and maybe get a cool shirt.
I had no idea what to expect when I showed up at the start line that morning. What I experienced was an enthusiastic team of volunteers and runners that were welcoming to everyone.
For me personally, this day was a game-changer that allowed me to perceive challenges in a new light. After the race, I started looking for another 5k to beat my time from the previous race. This led to setting my sites on a 10k race and eventually several half marathons. The Little Silver 5K, my very first race, lit a fire to push myself and continually strive for self-improvement.
As I trained for longer races, I found it helpful to set smaller attainable goals to keep me motivated and free of injury. The race distance may have changed, but the goal-setting process remained the same. Personally, breaking things into small chunks was, and continues to be the best way for me to train, and quite frankly, accomplish any goal in life. Just as important is consistency. There will be good days and bad days in your training, but my advice is to do the very best you can on "that" day. Sometimes just moving is all it takes to break out of a rut.
The process of goal-setting and self-motivation proved helpful over the years. I've completed several marathons and most recently my first Ironman triathlon. Breaking the task down into smaller components was the key to a successful outcome. As far as motivation goes, I've found that everyone differs in what motivates them.
What motivates me is being grateful that I'm healthy enough to run. I'll be the first to admit that running at 42-years-old is not as easy as when I was 22. With a busy work schedule, family, and just managing life in general, time is even more scarce than ever. I'm thankful that I'm healthy enough to run and stay active and will never take that for granted.
Whatever your goals and motivation might be, I encourage you on October 1st to leave your comfort zone and register for the Little Silver 5K.
Hopefully you'll find your spark, your fire. If you're not feeling very motivated that day then show up. Just show up. Do what you can. I promise you'll be glad you did. Worst case is that you make some new friends and get a cool t-shirt. See you on the course!
By Rob Cavanaugh
The Little Silver 5k, the largest Little Silver PTO fundraiser of the year, is hosting its annual 5K Run at Red Bank Regional High School on Sunday, October 1st. This exciting community event offers something for all ages including a 5K run, 1-mile run, and kiddie dashes.
Are your kids planning on participating in this great event, but don’t know where to begin their running training? No worries, RTC Training has some tips to help you and your family stay on track to successfully completing the Little Silver Run.
Physical activity is an important component of a healthy lifestyle for adults and kids. Many studies suggest that kids should participate in 60 minutes of exercise per day. Besides enjoying the health benefits of regular exercise, kids who are physically fit sleep better and are better able to handle physical and emotional challenges — from running to catch a bus to studying for a test.
Running is a great activity to help kids build endurance, which is developed when kids regularly engage in aerobic activity. Running offers kids the sense of freedom and the sense of reward and achievement when they finish.
While everyone can benefit from regular exercise, kids who are active will:
Like so many individual sports that rely on self-motivation and hard work to achieve success, running teaches kids self-respect, commitment, and builds self-esteem, all of which are important values for kids to learn and build on in their lives.
Here are a few simple tips to getting your kids prepared:
Start with a running plan:
Developing a running plan will help you stay on track to achieving your goals. Start out by running only a few days a week and begin to build your speed and distance at your own pace and comfort level.
Run with your kids:
You can help your child succeed in running by being an active participant. Start out by going to a local track or park with your kids. Start slowly, and as time goes on, they will build endurance and feel like they can run without walking. This is a great family activity that can help improve the fitness of everyone in your home.
RTC Training is excited to once again offer a kids running camp, leading up to the Little Silver 5k. This camp will be held on 5 consecutive Thursday’s from 5:30 -6:30 p.m. at Sickles Park, starting on September 7.
RTC Training’s running camps are designed to provide a fun, positive environment, while developing fitness and endurance. These camps focus on proper form and technique, and specific training for all abilities and distances.
I look forward to seeing everyone at the Little Silver 5k on Sunday, October 1st!
By Normajean Swiss
Little Silver -- I love this town! Its name suggests something small and something special. There are so many things I love about our town: the people, our proximity to the city and the beach, our parks, our downtown and our schools.
On Sunday, October 1, 2017, our town will host the Annual Little Silver 5K, one of the largest fundraisers for the Little Silver PTO. It’s amazing to think this race was started by caring parents and townspeople twenty-four years ago and is still a favorite day for local families, weekend warriors, and serious runners from all over. More recently, the Little Silver 5K has become a USATF NJ Long Distance Running Open Women's Championship Race.
Little Silver still feels to many like the small town it was twenty years ago. Our kids still bike and walk to school, they play sports on the same town fields, and sled down the hill at Markham. Everyone gets psyched for town activities in the Fall like our 5K Run, and the fun after-party that never disappoints!
My experience with the Little Silver 5K started when I stood at the end of my street several years ago and cheered for passing runners, my toddlers clapping by my side. Years later we did a family sponsorship and then last year I joined the planning committee.
Helping the PTO and supporting the Little Silver 5K is something I hold near and dear to my heart. When I saw how passionate our PTO, Little Silver parents, Police, Fire, EMS and all volunteers were, and how they stepped up to make this sizable race happen, I knew Little Silver was a special place.
Here are 3 reasons why our small town has a big heart -- and a big race too!
A small town with a big heart can make big things happen! Our once small 5K has grown into a very serious race that still appeals to runners of all skill levels.
The course is flat, fast and USATF Certified and the timing is done by Elite Racing Systems. There are prizes for different age groups as well as a One Mile Fun-Run for kids and Kiddie Dashes for little ones.
After 20 years, things come and go, but some things do not change. People still like to get outside and exercise, support their local schools and attend a fun family community event. Our small town loves our 5K, its runners from near and far, and all the sponsors and volunteers who make it all possible. Our small town really does have a big heart and we're looking forward to another big race!
To Register for the 2017 Little Silver 5K, CLICK HERE
We're grateful to the MERIDIAN HEALTH FAMILY for their unwavering support and for providing us with this great nutritional infographic to pass on to our Little Silver 5K Runners!
Click the DOWNLOAD NOW button below to get your mobile friendly version to take with you while training.
Here's some Summertime motivation to get you prepared for this year's Little Silver 5K. While we only have about 7 1/2 weeks to go before race day, you can alter this 10-week program to fit your individual needs. The Couch to 5k Training plan can help any new runner start up in their running experience.
The Couch to 5k Training Plan | From Couch to 5K
Beginning to run for a beginner can be extremely tough, especially without a plan. The Couch to 5k Training plan can help any new runner start up in their running experience. If you follow it with a positive mindset, you will no doubt succeed.
All you need in order to begin this plan is some running shoes, around 10-30 minutes of a few days each week, and 10 weeks worth of motivation. Once you’ve started up, then you’ll be able to get off that couch and in shape in no time.
How to Use the Plan
Using the Couch to 5k Training Plan is simple. Just start your training on week 1, and progress through the days normally. In the beginning, you will be doing lots of walking as warm ups and cool downs. Later on, when you’ve experienced long periods of running, you won’t need to walk as much. Around week 6, you’ll stop walking as a warm up. Around week 9, you’ll be done with walking altogether.
The above article reproduced directly from http://www.fromcouchto5k.com
© 2016 From Couch to 5k
We're so excited by the rapid increase in registrations -- make the Little Silver 5K your own personal tradition and commitment to exercise!
Tremendous thanks to all of our amazing sponsors and volunteers.
Take a few minutes to register you and/or your family today!
RUNNER INFO SNAPSHOT
Race packet pick-up and late registration
Sat, Oct 3rd 11:00 AM -4:00 PM Road Runner Sports, Shrewsbury
490 Broad Street, Shrewsbury, NJ 07702
Sun, Oct 4th 7:30 AM -9:15 AM at Red Bank Regional High School
101 Ridge Road, Little Silver, NJ 07739
Race Day Schedule
POST RACE PARTY
The LS5k Post Race will be from 11am-4pm at the Little Silver Firehouse. We are planning a great party for both children and adults! We will have an Oktoberfest beer garden, live music by RipTide, food by Molinari's, and many fun activities: pumpkin painting, face painting, Legos by Bricks 4 Kidz, canvas painting by Pinot's Palette, give aways by Nike, and surprise activities by FRESH PT.
One of the best parts about running in the Little Silver 5K is the after party!
We will have an Oktoberfest beer garden, live music, food by Molinari's, and many fun activities: pumpkin painting, face painting, legos by Bricks 4 Kidz, canvas painting by Pinot's Palette, give aways by Nike, and surprise activities by FRESH PT.
The Little Silver 5K is the only Fall race in Monmouth County that has something for everyone. Elite runners, advanced amateurs, weekend warriors and kids all challenge themselves in this awesome 5K run. The race also offers a one mile fun run for kids and kiddie dashes for the younger children. We have a reputation for giving out some pretty sweet swag as well as legit prizes for award winners too!
We're grateful for everyone's participation and celebrate your efforts by throwing a great after party!