Dreamfar crosses the finish line

By Sammie Levin
Published: May 2009

On Sun. May 3, members of Dreamfar, a Newton South marathon team, completed 26.2 miles of the Providence Marathon. They ended their long journey of hard work and commitment with sweet success and accomplishment.
While most students were sleeping-in, hanging out with friends, or cramming for a test that Sunday, the nine students and four teachers of Dreamfar made history, as the first high school marathon team in New England.
The team has been training for months with admirable dedication and determination to achieve this goal, and though many of the runners limped around school the days following the race, the experience could not have been more gratifying.

“During the marathon, I felt pain, agony, and torture. Crossing the finish line made all of that worthwhile, Sophomore and captain Zoe Newburg said.

The club began in early November, starting with running merely one mile during the scheduled training sessions and progressing to longer distances every couple of weeks.

The training took place after school on Mondays and Wednesdays, as well as Saturday mornings.
In addition to the runs, the team met after school on Thursdays to discuss topics such as how to stay healthy while training.

Special Education teacher Jamie Chaloff is responsible for the creation of the Dreamfar team.

When asked about her feelings after seeing her vision and goal achieved, Chaloff explained, “I didn’t know how many students would actually accomplish this goal, but I knew that if even one student finished the race, the program was a success. I am very happy that it is possible to have a dream, then and actually make that dream become a reality that so many people believe in as well.

The diverse group of students and teachers that were a part of Dreamfar really bonded and united over their period of training.

When asked about their favorite part of Dreamfar, many members, including sophomore Noah Lerner, responded that the team itself made the experience all the more enjoyable and memorable.
“[After finishing the marathon] I was obviously overjoyed, but I was also sad that it was over, Lerner explained. Displaying how close the team became over time.

“The team is simply amazing! I have always been in awe of their dedication and hard work, Chaloff claimed.
The members had very different previous athletic abilities and running experience prior to joining the team. One member, sophomore Kyla Kouadio never thought she would be able to run a marathon, having only run one mile before Dreamfar.

The fact that the team was not comprised of all star track runners or incredible athletes, but rather regular students and teachers that worked up the ability to run a the marathon through strenuous training, makes their accomplishment all the more amazing and inspiring.

Though the end goal of Dreamfar was to complete the marathon, this was not all that was achieved during the program. During the past few months of training, the runners pushed themselves to new limits and discovered new inner strength.

Newburg, for example, says that after training for the marathon and finishing it, she feels as if she has the power to do more.

“Dreamfar has pulled me away from negative influences in my life and transformed how I see myself physically and mentally Kouadio explained.

She is now in the best shape she has ever been, and is focusing in school and managing her time better.
“This journey has touched so many lives, Chaloff realizes.

So, Dreamfar ran the marathon, but does the journey end there?

Chaloff declares that this is not the end and that Dreamfar will be back in motion next year, training for another marathon.

But Chaloff is dreaming even farther for next year. “My ‘Ëœbig’ plan is to get one additional high school per year to be a part of this, Chaloff explained.

The Dreamfar motto is “We Finish What We Start! The nine students and four teachers, along with coach Chaloff stayed true to that motto, and they can all say just how great finishing their goal feels.
So next year, when you find yourself yearning to get involved as you slowly turn into a couch potato, join Dreamfar.

And be jealous of the South students and teachers that ran 26.2 miles, together, because they are the first high school team in New England be ever have done so.

Read more

Like it? Share it!


Copyright © Denebola | The Official School Newspaper of Newton South High School | 140 Brandeis Road, Newton, MA 02459.
Site designed by Chenzhe Cao.