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WHS Coach Taking Strides to Fund Track

Kate Jackson is working on both a 10K and one-mile race in April.

Kate Jackson knows it will be an arduous and expensive process to help fund a track for Windham High School.

But bit by bit, she is working to get it done, and her current pursuit to gather some funding is an upcoming 10K and one mile race event on April 14.

Jackson, a girls cross country coach at the school for the last three years, said that she understands the burden on taxpayers, and that when the facility was first built it seemed like a lot of money to lump a track on top of it all.

She is determined, however, to show that she is doing her part to get a track built. Her reasoning is simple.

"My life started on a track," Jackson said. "Some people say 'oh, who cares?' But it started a dream."

Jackson said that it saddens her to think of the athletes attending the high school without a track, but it would sadden her even more if she wasn't doing anything about it.

But to her the race is more than just getting some dollars set aside for a better workout spot than the parking lot, which is where she said many of the students train now.

It's about building a new tradition.

"Ultimately I'm hoping this 10K will stick around," Jackson said. "If we can have this race around for many years, I think it would be a great event."

Jackson said that she has worked closely with Windham Police Officer Jessica Flynn to plan the event, even getting Flynn to help her with an LED advertisement near the police station.

It's not just putting the word out, although Jackson said she would love for those interested to pre-register. It's also about planning and marking the course.

The race route will start and finish at WHS, looping around some of the main roads of Windham such as Route 111, Bear Hill Road and Lowell Road.

Runners will loop around the high school for the mile course.

Jackson said that she plans for the race to be professional, using the $3,000 from a cross country fundraiser in the fall to pay for the professional timing and other expenses for the race.

While she knows a track isn't something that can be paid for in one fell swoop, she used examples like the Strawberry Festival and how much money she said it brings in for Nesmith Library as a barometer for her own pursuit.

"It's going to take several races and fundraisers to try to make a big dent," Jackson said. 

Derry Sports and Rehab is the major corporate sponsor for the event, along with Windham Pilates and the Windham Police and Fire stations.

Also helping Jackson to co-direct the event is WHS track coach Ryan O'Connor.

To pre-register for the "Build a Track" 10K and one-miler event, click here.

The event is scheduled to take place at 9 a.m. 

Danyelle Stuckart March 02, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Thank you to Kate Jackson, Ryan O'Connor and all sponsors! Windham Presbyterian Church will have a sign-up sheet for volunteers for this event as we are supporting it through our Love Thy Neighborhood day on April 14th. You do not need to attend WPC to volunteer. It is possible to be a participant in either race AND also a volunteer in some capacity. TO VOLUNTEER: Please contact me (Danyelle Stuckart) at dmstuckart@yahoo.com TO RUN: Click the link above to pre-register for the "Build a Track" 10K at 9am and one-miler at 11am.
Jim Curtin March 02, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Good Job Ms. Jackson and Mr. O'Connor. Jim
Michael Ryan March 02, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Thanks so much for the added information Danyelle!
Jim Curtin March 02, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Good Job Officer Flynn Jim
Kate Jackson March 02, 2012 at 08:05 PM
And to add to our sponsors list: *** Emergency Education Consultants, LLC *** Windham Mobil Service Center Shaw's Market A big thank you! Kate Jackson

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