Laura O’Hara, Clinical Liaison at the Laurel Park program has a passion for running. Lucky for the youth at Laurel Park she is sharing her passion for this sport with them. As a Therapist, Laura often teaches self-regulation skills to the youth on her therapy caseload and for the past three months she has incorporated a twice per week Running Group with several of the young men at Laurel Park.
There were five young men who completed the group: Ben, Brandon, Nick, Chris, and Dustin. Originally the group was planned for 6 weeks, but the group was extended due to the participants wanting to continue. Over the course of the twelve weeks Laura entered the young men into several races and ran alongside them.
In August they ran the Ritchie Regional Health Care 5K (3.1 miles). Ben finished third in his age group and seventeenth overall at 24:51 (24 minutes/51 seconds). Ben also completed the Cooper's Rock Stump Jump 10K (6.2 miles) as the twelfth overall finisher at 57:37. In September they ran the FBI Jerry Dove 5K and Ben finished 1st in his age group at 23:34 and seventeenth overall. In October they ran the Salem Apple Butter Festival 5K. Three of the group finished this race: Dustin finished in 33:24 and fifth in his age group, Brandon finished in 37:49 and sixth in his age group, and Nick finished in 38:56 and seventh in his age group. The last race in October was Test the Watters. It was both a 10k and 5k race and Laurel Park had participants in both. Ben finished the 10k in 50:04 and was first in his age group and fourth overall. Nick finished the 5k in 36:19 and first in his age group and 24th overall with Dustin finishing in 36:19 and second in his age group and 26th overall. Dustin reports tripping over a stump and doing a face plant which resulted in a slower finish.
While completing these same races with the kids, Laura did not report her finish times. She did say that these young men have been very invested in this group and have improved their individual race times. Laura has done a great job with this group of young men and they have done very well in the races they have entered. Laura plans to continue to take members of this group to races through the rest of this race season and who knows, maybe next year? Time will tell.
Find the latest news, events, and information to help you and your loved ones.