Veterans are focus of booster club dash

Shenendehowa Central Schools entrance on Route 146 in Clifton Park.

MARC SCHULTZ/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHERShenendehowa Central Schools entrance on Route 146 in Clifton Park. MARC SCHULTZ/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER

By Kassie Parisi

Gazette Reporter

CLIFTON PARK — As part of its continued efforts to both bring support both student-athletes and veterans, the Shenendehowa Track Booster Club will host the 10th annual Veterans Day Dash on Nov. 10.

Over 400 veterans, students, and other racers will come together at Shen to celebrate Veterans Day with an on-campus 5k. A kids’ run will start at 9 a.m., and the 5k will begin at 10 on the campus track. Kids can choose to run either a mile of half of a mile.

The event, race director and president of the booster club Kristen Hislop said, was created by the Shen Athletic Department, which was looking for a way to both showcase and support its athletes, as well as to honor local veterans.

“It’s something that there’s been enough of support within the running community at Shen to really keep it growing,” she said. “It’s unique in that way.”

As the decade has gone on, the race demographics have changed as well. Hislop, said that in the beginning, the majority of participating veterans were senior citizens. Now there are more and more woman and younger veterans racing each year.

Each year, the race course is lined with American flags. Race participants and spectators may also purchase their owns flags and decorate them with information about the veteran they wish to recognize. Those flags will also be on display at the race.

A downloadable entry form can be found at www.shenrunners.com. The fee is $20 by the Nov. 5 registration and $25 after that or on the day of the race. Veterans race for free, and can  contact shenrunners@gmail.com for an access code. There is race day registration available, but register early to ensure a commemorative long sleeve t-shirt.

The kids’ fun run is $10 and includes a shirt as well. Hislop noted that eventually she would like to see students from other districts besides Shen participate as well.

The race will also serve as a fundraiser for STRIDE Adaptive Sports. STRIDE is one of the leading adaptive sport programs in the Northeast, providing over 17 adaptive sports and recreation programs for youth with disabilities and Wounded Warriors, with thousands of program lessons offered at no cost to participants.

The Shenendehowa Track Booster Club is a non-profit entity organized to support the over 450

Shenendehowa students who participate in cross country, indoor track and outdoor track and
Field.

The event has a number of local sponsors as well, including Adirondack Sports and Fitness, and Stewart’s Shops.

The Veterans Day Dash is one of the booster club’s major fundraisers, said Hislop, but being able to raise awareness and bring the community together to support is just as important.

“It’s a great opportunity for the kids,” she said.