Dreamfar runners go the distance

Dreamfar runners go the distance

Running has been known to make people happier and healthier, and serves as an accessible form of exercise. One nonprofit organization, Dreamfar, serves to help high school students look beyond what they think they’re capable of accomplishing and introduces them to a goal that belongs to under one percent of the world.

Running a marathon, exactly 26.2 miles, is Dreamfar’s underlying objective.

Dreamfar sets to break the idea that running a marathon is an impossible ordeal, even for high school students. Dreamfar is a nonprofit created by Jamie Chaloff, a special education teacher centered in Newton, Massachusetts. After finishing her first marathon, Ms. Chaloff discovered that her pride post-marathon could be spread to teens in high school. Ms. Chaloff has urged students from the New England school systems to push themselves in completing the feat of running 26.2 miles. This is the first year that DHS has opened itself to the challenge.

Sarah Labossiere, the leader of Dreamfar and a DHS special education teacher, had stumbled upon the nonprofit without prior knowledge. “I saw a clipping about it in the Standard Times,” Mrs. Labossiere said. “The leader of Old Rochester Regional was starting to plan a branch for Southcoast schools to complete the Dreamfar challenge. I emailed her right after.”

The runners train every Monday and Thursday after school, and on Saturdays at Old Rochester Regional High School in the early morning. Tuesdays after school are reserved for crossfit exercises to balance out endurance with strength. The DHS team currently increases their running distance for training by half a mile every week, a steady rhythm to the goal of 26.2. For those involved, Dreamfar serves as a wonderful experience.

DHS senior Sarah DeMello said, “I’ve always wanted to do all the fun 5k’s like the Color Run, so why not do a marathon too?” The title is as rewarding as the action itself. “I’ve always wanted to be able to say I ran a marathon. That’s pretty amazing in itself.”

For myself, I have always wanted to run in a marathon. However, I never found the motivation to go out and train. Dreamfar served to be a convenient way to get in shape and feel positive about the goals I’m obtaining. In a way, this activity is just leading up to many opportunities of positivity.

As of right now, according to Dreamfar statistics, the organization has trained over 400 students to compete in both half and full marathons. All students can reach the goal of completing a marathon as Dreamfar provides one-on-one mentors to assist those in need. Along with the accommodation of mentors, the nonprofit organization covers the cost of registration, Dreamfar clothing depicting each region competing, and transportation.

Not all those training, however, are new to the world of marathon racing. DHS math teacher and Dreamfar mentor Rachelle Lemieux said, “I started running 12 years ago, and I’ve done a few marathons in the past. It helped me bring other aspects of my life when I started into perspective, and I joined Dreamfar to help students do the same.”

Running has brought a combination of success and obstacles for those who choose to train. In the tasks of breaking through each new mile, comes the sense of accomplishment as well.

This is the case for DHS sophomore Sarah Smiale. “It just soothes me and allows me to clear my mind and release stress on my body,” she said. As some people could find long distance taxing, Smialek is up for the challenge. “Running is a sport that is about you and about how far you are willing to go to chase your goal which is a reason why I love running.”

Dreamfar is open for all types of runners, no matter their running history. As some have never run before this opportunity, others have found running to become a part of their everyday lives.

This has been the case for DHS senior Nicole Ponte. “Running is magical, I love it,” Ponte said. “I started a little over a year ago, and so far the farthest I’ve run is 50 miles.” Ponte had joined Dreamfar as she had run distance in the past and wanted to run in a group with others.

There is more to Dreamfar than just running. There is the option to push yourself to be the best you can be, the determination in achieving the same target as your peers, and feeling the rush of happiness that comes with crossing the finish line. Dreamfar is just the beginning to a long line of winners.