Charlie Conroy stationed himself at the final corner of the two-kilometer portion of the Dan Scharfman Memorial Run with a promise.
“Keep going! Home is just around the corner! You can make it!” the race co-director encouraged racers as they ran the final meters on the track surrounding Harris Field.
And with that, scores of runners – from those barely four years old and three feet tall to election town officials – began sprinting to the line.
On a brilliant and brisk autumn morning, Sunday, Oct. 4, Belmont came out to run in memory of School Committee member Dan Scharfman and to support the Foundation for Belmont Education’s funding initiative that promotes two of Scharfman’s interests when he was on the committee: introducing technology to Belmont’s public school classrooms and provide professional development for teachers and staff.
The third edition of the Scharfman races proved a joyful exercise for those managing the race and those benefiting from the donations.
“We had over 620 pre-register, which is more than last year. If we get 10 percent walk ups, we are looking at more than 700 runners from both races,” said race co-director Paul Roberts.
“I think by having the shorter race that younger kids do get entire families involved,” said Roberts.
The top prizes went to Scot Dedeo who won the men’s 5K with a time of 17 minutes and 34.1 seconds followed by a pair of 15-year-olds; James Kitch and Zack Tseng. The women’s race was won by Heidi Kimberly in 20:48 followed by 13-year old Madeline Celicitch and Christy Lawrence.
In the 2K, Chris Burge won the race in 7:30 followed so close by 12-year-old Shea Brams (she was leading the race until the final straightaway). Following Brams in the women’s race was Violet Whitmer , 11, and Charlotte Conroy, 12.
For Jamie Shea, FBE co-president, the day was all she could have wished.
“After days of cold and rain, the weather was an awesome surprise,” she said.
“Last year we raised about $22,000, and we have more runners this year so I would expect that dollar number will go up,” said Shea.
The donations from participants and sponsors will allow teachers to introduce “cutting edge methods in the classroom and to bring engaging material to our students.”
Funding in the past has been used to help bring iPads into the classroom “while a huge amount of money is used to help teachers understand innovative methods that are not technology related,” said Shea.