Lindsey and Shelley Roberts are owners of a local pharmacy in Hamburg, but their life outside of work is a great story. Growing up, Lindsey ran cross country and immensely enjoyed the sport. Each year, his high school has an annual race to honor his former coach, Jack Yearego, who passed away a few years ago. Their oldest son participated in the last two memorial races and had fallen in love with the sport. There wasn’t a program established at their son’s elementary school, so Lindsey’s thought was “…if my son loves this as much as I do, I’m sure there are lots of kids out there in the same boat with no team to run on… so let’s make one.” That is exactly what they did.

sports: a group of kids in track suits
Photo courtesy of Lindsey Roberts

The two reached out to others who participated in their cross country event and asked if they would be interested in doing track meets. “What I got back was an overwhelming response of ‘YES WE WANT to do this, and we’ve told our friends how much we enjoyed our cross country season with you, and we’re bringing them out with us’,” said Lindsey. They recognized the desire and excitement in the younger kids to do a structured season of track.

He says the most rewarding part of this so far has been the collective direct and indirect positive feedback that he sees from the families and runners. On a more personal level, his family is thriving in the bone this allows him to forge with his kids — the time he gets to share with them and the love of running.

Their ultimate goal is to continue the program at Liberty Elementary and make sure it’s strong enough to continue long after their kids have moved on to upper schools. Their hope is that other elemen- tary schools will see this program and soon begin their own. As more schools develop their own track programs, this will encourage more runners to partici- pate in outside running clubs like their neighborhood Grassroots Running Club which was developed by Lindsey and Shelley. Their hope is that these develop- ments promote the positive benefits of exercise to young athletes.

The Roberts had noticed that there was a lack of running groups that met up in Hamburg. As a health and wellness initiative, they started promoting their own running group that met up outside of their pharmacy. Once they started to get a good following, runners began to ask if they could bring their kids. Their answer was always “Of course!”. Soon, kids began to outnumber the adults, and that became one of the unique aspects of their running club.

For more info about the club, visit Grassroots Running Club, on facebook.

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