The First Annual Sandy Feet 3 Mile Run Creates New Memories For One Family

The First Annual Sandy Feet 3 Mile Run Creates New Memories For One Family

It’s Summer Celebration Kick-Off Week in Yarmouth which means boatloads of fun events and entertainment for the family, much of which is free to attend.  A new addition to the calendar this year is a 3 mile fun run on Bass River Beach…..yes that’s 3 miles entirely in the sand!  The event was organized by our local running store; Bayside Runner located in the Yarmouth Shopping Center at 484 Station Ave in Yarmouth.

I arrived at the Sandy Feet 3 Miler ready to take some photos and help promote the event in the hopes that it would do well and become a regular part of Yarmouth Summer Celebration festivities.  It was a nice afternoon, it wasn’t too hot and a nice breeze was blowing over the beach.  The first runner to return to the finish was none other than Bayside Runner’s co-owner Adam Stuhlfaut.  Bayside’s other co-owner Tom Pena finished in the top four as well.

The Sandy Feet 3 Mile Race was held entirely on Bass River Beach in Yarmouth, MA

The Sandy Feet 3 Mile Race was held entirely on Bass River Beach in Yarmouth, MA

 

After taking a few photos of the kites I decided to wait at the finish for more people to come through.  It was then that I struck up a nice conversation with a gentleman named Ray Hodorski. Ray crossed the finish with a young boy and the two of them were congratulating each other and talking about how great the run was.  I thought to myself how nice it was to see them running it together.  I soon learned they had a whole crew of family members there with them.  My simple inquiry tuned into a lovely conversation and I quickly realized that this family is the exact reason we hold summer celebration in the first place!  Let me tell you more about Ray and his family and you’ll understand why.

Ray and ten of his family members converge at the Riviera Beach Resort as a kick off to summer.  Their family has been doing this for seven years!  With two teachers in the family and family members spread across Florida and Connecticut they say “We always come up here to the Cape first before spending a few weeks in CT and use it as our summer kick off.”  Sure enough, one by one another nine family members would eventually make their way to the finish of the race (Ray’s brother Joe wasn’t able to participate).

Thankfully a few of the family members were walking and it gave me more time to connect with Ray.  As we’re chatting I learn that they happened upon the Yarmouth Summer Celebration Kick Off Week three years ago and have been making it the center of their family vacation ever since.  Ray said the kids look forward to it every year and he feels like they’ve grown up here. They love the Riviera Beach Resort and all the activities it offers.  With kids ranging in ages from 16 to 9 they always find something for everyone to do.  Aside from a few day trips to the National Seashore or Martha’s Vineyard, the family finds they have everything they need for a great vacation right here in Yarmouth, including the Skipper Restaurant which they admit to eating at, at least three or four times every year saying “The food has been consistently excellent and the staff always makes the kids feel welcome.”

When the family arrives at the Riviera they always get a list of activities. This year they were excited to see the Sandy Feet 3 Miler as a new addition to the events. “We saw the Sandy Feet Run and decided it would be a great activity for our entire group” said Ray.  We couldn’t agree more!

Watching these family members come in was a real treat.  As each family member approached the end of the run the others already there were cheering and waving them in.

Young girl finishes Sandy Feet 3 Miler

 

It was a wonderful sight to see such a supportive family working together.  In fact one of the children twisted an ankle somewhere out there and I had to chuckle as I heard one of the other children tell everyone in an authoritative voice that they all had to make sure they cheered him on extra loud because he was hurt and a little upset.  As a mom of two young kids I have to say that I hope and pray I’m succeeding at instilling this caring nature and strong family ties in my own children, as these adults obviously have in theirs.  They are clearly a tight knit unit.

From a distance we then all see the flag that many of us around Yarmouth have come to recognize as Steve Xiarhos, a member of the Yarmouth Police Department.  Only Steve isn’t carrying the flag this time, a young boy is.  That young boy turns out to be Ray’s ten year old nephew!  I have to tell you the whole family (and pretty much everyone in the general area) thought it was pretty neat to see this ten year old running with the flag with pure pride and determination on his face.  He kept running with that flag right past the finish all the way to the jetty!

10 Year Old Runs with Flag at Sandy Feet 3 Miler

 

Shortly thereafter the last of the Hodorski/Theroux crew arrives.  With high fives and congratulations all around and the promise of ice cream soon to come, I ask if I can take a family photo and email it to them as a memory of their inaugural race together.  They were gracious enough to let me publish them here in our blog.

Hodorsky:Theroux Family at the Sandy Feet 3 Mile Run Hodorski:Theroux Family at Yarmouth Summer Celebration

 

This is what Yarmouth Summer Celebration Kick Off is all about, good old fashioned fun and spending time together as a family.  Ray’s story is exactly what we strive for here, creating experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime; “My ten year old nephew was given the opportunity to carry the American flag across the finish line at the end of the race and that was an honor he will never forget.  In fact, he is already planning for the race again next year so we hope this will become an annual event and new tradition for our families.”  To that I say Thank You Ray! Thanks to you and all your family members for sharing your experiences with me and providing a shining example of why we love Yarmouth Summer Celebration and look forward to it every year as the kick off to summer and memory making on Cape Cod.  With about 60 runners participating this year, we’ll hope for an even larger turnout next year.  You can bet we’ll be looking for the Hodorski/Theroux crew at the start!

~April

 

Learn more about all the great businesses and events in the post on Facebook:

Yarmouth Summer Celebration Kick Off

Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce

Bayside Runner

Riviera Beach Resort

The Skipper Restaurant

1 Comment

  1. George Theroux

    I’m Joe’s father (he’s the one that didn’t run). Jacob(carried flag.), Kayleigh & Jordan are my grandchildren. I really enjoyed the story and pictures. My wife and I spent a week at South Yarmouth a few years back and had a great time with our children & grandchildren there. You brought back wonderful memories. Thank You very much.

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