History of the Running Nuns
Our sisters have staffed the St. Charles Children’s Home in Rochester, New Hampshire, since 1968. Until 2014 the Children’s Home accepted children who had been removed from their family by court order and are under the protection of the Division of Welfare. The grief and anger flowing from a troubled past tends to erupt in disruptive and sometimes violent behavior in these children.
In the spring of 1996, the sisters had a “family meeting” with the children to talk with them about healthy ways to release anger and negative emotions. The children came up with many ideas to vent anger in healthy ways. Soon Rose—one of our most aggressive girls—was going for daily hikes on a nearby trail with Sister Maximilian. By the end of the summer these daily hikes turned into daily runs. Meanwhile, the boys became jealous when they heard that Rose could run more than a mile without becoming tired. From that the running program was “born”. The sisters and children ran four miles a day and participate in local 5k road races during the year.
History of the Road Race
In September, 1997, the global insurance brokerage company Willis founded a 5k road race that St. Charles could call its very own. The race has grown by approximately one hundred runners annually, and has raised more than $200,000 for the Home. The St. Charles Children’s Home 5k has been a professional, well organized event from the beginning, and is supported by many local vendors who provide plenty of food and drink and an exciting array of raffle prizes. The race strives to attract serious runners, while at the same time providing a culture that is friendly to families, children and beginners.