Twister Trot

October, 2006. A crisp, autumn weekend morning. I remember standing outside my kids’ preschool in Bethesda, MD. Will and Emily had just finished the toddler sprint – 40 yards across the parking lot – and it was time for the parents to take the stage. A 5K was planned through the neighborhood.

Two friends approached to let me know that a big group of dads was running together. Leisurely pace. No stress. I should join.

At this moment it hit me. While I played sports in high school, I had never run a mile before. And certainly not 3.1. I had visions of keeling over half-way through the race. It was truly a “Brené Brown” moment.

Thank goodness for Kate! I clung tightly to the stroller with our seven-month-old inside. I would have to walk with her. I assured the dads that, in fact, no one else could do this. The following weekend, I set out to run my first mile…alone.

In contrast to my rather sedentary experience, kids today run all the time. In Middle School Physical Education, Wednesdays are running days – either the mile or the pacer – and Coach Morrison charts their progress.

We have some fit, fast students at TDS! Just look at the times for the top-five finishers this past week:

  • 8th grade – Otto (5:45), Cooper (5:59), Kylie (7:00), Taleah (7:00), Nnamdi (7:10)
  • 7th grade – Avery (6:37), Oliver (7:10), Olivia (7:14), Ash (7:23), Wil S (7:23)
  • 6th grade – Connor (5:58), Nayan (6:13), Ben (6:26), Oliver P (7:06), Bruce (7:23)

Beyond these fifteen, several other students finished the course in less than eight minutes. And nearly every middle schooler ran faster than I did on my first run in 2006.

Looking ahead to yet another Saturday in October, the entire TDS community will have the opportunity to gather for a morning of exercise and fun. Calling all runners and walkers: I hope to see you on campus on Saturday, October 19th at 9:00 AM for our 5K run, or 1-mile fun run, through American Village.

The TDS Twister Trot, formerly Marcy’s Run, is a race to honor the courage and strength of our community. Marcy Speer was a dedicated wife, mother, and world-renowned geneticist at Duke University. She lost her battle with cancer in 2006. At the time, Marcy’s Run was created as a way to honor her memory, as well as her contributions to the TDS community, and to support science education. Sadly, in the years since the race began, the TDS community has had many other families affected by cancer. With the blessing of the Speer Family, the race took on a new name a few years ago. The Twister Trot honors all families who have been or currently are being affected by this terrible disease, and we invite all of our racers to honor a friend or family member impacted by cancer at our race. Most importantly, Casey Speer (TDS ‘10) will be on hand before the race to speak about her wonderful mom.

Racers will have much to look forward to upon crossing the finish line, including some treats from local merchants, face painting, a performance by the TDS cheerleading squad, and a fire truck to explore! You, and more importantly your children, will not want to miss this community event! Click here to register for the race. The early-bird discount ends Monday, September 30th, so act now!

To ensure the success of this race, we need a team of volunteers. If running or walking isn’t your thing, please consider directing runners on the course, managing the water station, or helping with race-day registration or parking. Click here to join a team of dedicated race-day volunteers.

Finally, my annual challenge for TDS students (not parents or alums!), which has lightened my wallet in recent years: All boys who cross the 5K finish line ahead of me, all LS girls who finish the 5K ahead of Sra. Hoffman, and all MS girls who beat Ms. Morrison, will earn an all-you-can-eat lunch! Please consider joining us for this fun-filled morning at TDS. Sign up today!

Doug Norry
Head of School