In its 11th year, the Fast Start Track & Field Invitational has become part of the culture of the eight public elementary schools in the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) catchment area. Students ask about and prepare for the event as soon as they return to school in the fall. Those students who have aged out of the event are no exception; they’re just as eager to volunteer to help as they were to participate in the event when they were in elementary school.
It’s the alumni involvement that Fast Start’s founder, Scott Millson, says makes the event so special. Millson, a former runner who grew up participating in a similar event in north Florida, says “it’s great to see kids that have participated in the event who come back to help.” He describes the “alumni feel” as “really special” and said that this year, “we had several 5th grade students approach him, expressing as much excitement about volunteering next year as they did about participating this year.”
High school runners play a large role as volunteers during the event. The Winter Park High School Cross Country Team and the Trinity Preparatory School Track and Field Team were involved. While parents originally led most parts of Fast Start, now Fast Start alumni make up a large majority of the volunteers. “It truly has become a student-led event,” Millson said.
On January 30, 2016, Fast Start 11 volunteers and alumni managed the start and finish lines, served as race officials, and more to ensure the event ran smoothly for the over 800 participants from the following elementary schools:
- Aloma Elementary
- Audubon Park Elementary
- Brookshire Elementary
- Cheney Elementary
- Dommerich Elementary
- Hungerford Elementary
- Lakemont Elementary
- Lake Sybelia Elementary
Congratulations to Mr. Millson, Fast Start volunteers and participants, as well as Fast Start’s many community partners…the 2016 Fast Start Invitational was another successful event.
Mark your calendars for 1/28/17 – the tentative date for Fast Start 12.