Stories And Inspiration

Program Benefits Go Beyond Running for Three Brothers

Submitted by Anonymous on Oct 14th 2014 - 7:00PM. | Perma Link

GO FAR helped get the Flanagan brothers interested in running. All the other ways GO FAR has played a role in the boys’ athletics was a bonus.GO FAR Flanagan

Will, a sophomore at Greensboro’s Grimsley High School, began running for fun in sixth grade. His Kiser Middle School GO FAR club provided a chance to be involved in something when sixth graders weren’t allowed to play school sports.

He stuck with running and is now on Grimsley’s cross country and track team. “GO FAR did play a role in this because I most likely wouldn’t be running if GO FAR hadn’t been introduced to me,” he said.

Michael, an eighth grader at Kiser, joined GO FAR because a lot of his friends were also participating. And younger brother Toby, a fourth grader at Sternberger Elementary, joined the club at his school last year.

“I wanted to learn to run longer and faster for soccer,” he said. “And I wanted to run the GO FAR race with my brother Will. My brothers had fun doing it, so I wanted to.”

Through GO FAR the boys have learned how to overcome physical challenges of running. “I’ve always had trouble with my shins and knees and as I’ve become a stronger runner, I have overcome those problems and learned to deal with them,” Will said. “Stretching and ice baths are the way to go.”

Michael learned to deal with the pain in his knees by stretching a lot.

The benefits don’t end there. “GO FAR has helped me build a foundation for running and it has also helped me create a hard work ethic,” Will said. Having other runners in the family motivates him to strive for better times in the future. He hopes for a 5K in the 16s and a mile in less than five minutes.

The program has helped Michael become a better athlete overall, helping him with speed and endurance on the soccer field.

Toby sees a similar advantage. “I can catch anyone on the soccer field,” he said. “I never get out of breath.”

The boys have learned to be supportive of one another. “When it comes to sports, they are very supportive and genuinely happy for each other,” mom, Britt, said. “It was a big deal when Michael and Will ran their first GO FAR race. Michael came in the top 20 and a couple of minutes before Will. Will was very proud of Michael and just kind of had an attitude like, ‘Wow! You did amazing!’”Flanagan race

The boys use their know-how to coach and advise one another. “We give each other advice about stretching, hydrating, eating healthy, pacing ourselves, and we have run some races together,” Michael said.

Toby said he and Will time one another running a mile around the park. “My brothers tried to tell me what to do my first GO FAR race,” he said. “I listened but already knew what I was going to do. I was going to run on my own, not with any of my friends. I was not going to stop.”

Toby did pretty well in that first race. He kept running and was not far behind Will. “My parents were amazed,” he said.

Photos: (top) Toby and Will, (bottom) Michael and Will

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