Bears return for annual running program

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:15

    Sussex County-For the ninth year, The Bears Youth Running Program will be held this fall at Swartswood State Park in Hampton. The Program is open to elementary school and middle school aged boys and girls. The Bears Youth Running Program is an innovative program that teaches our Sussex County children the many physical and mental benefits that can be derived from the sport of running. The program instills the positives - both physically and mentally - of running in our children, teaching them self-confidence, integrity and goal-setting. Bears Youth Runners have the chance to attend practices several times a week and race on weekends all fall. To date, this vital program has touched the lives of over 300 children. Practice starts on Wednesday, Sept. 8 and are held on Monday and Wednesday evenings throughout the fall from 5 to 6 p.m. at Swartswood State Park (on Route 619 in Newton). Parents are asked to have children to the Park by 5 p.m. for stretching. Practice then consists of endurance and speed drills that are made fun and interesting for the children as they learn the particulars about the sport and again an appreciation for it. Kids should be dressed to practice and should bring either water or a sports drink to practice. Parents should notify coaches of any medical conditions, such as asthma, their children may suffer. Cost is $20 per child for the entire season. This fee includes Monday and Wednesday practices throughout the fall. Kids also have the opportunity to part-take in The Columbus Day Mile, The Halloween Mile and The Turkey Trot Mile, all staged at Swartswood State Park as part of practice with lots of prizes. Kids receive weekly awards based on attitude and performance and part-take in the annual Bears Pizza Run. On Sundays, during the fall, they get the chance to run in youth races at Brundage Park in Randolph. All participants recieve a uniform, as well. For information, call Bears Youth Running Program Directors, Guy and Laurie Gordon, at 973-383-7933. Also, look for information about the Youth Bears on the Bears Running Club Web site: