Why Fast Feet?
The 400m run is a one lap track and field race run at almost every youth track meet. A common event, it is a particularly hard race that tests equal parts speed and endurance. This particular occurrence of the 400m was in no way ordinary.
Our vision for creating adaptive running programs crystallized at a track meet in the spring of 2017. We had been working with our first group of runners with developmental differences for four months and the progress had been incredible. From our students gaining the mechanical skills to run for the first time in their lives to routinely engaging in a way that was rare in their outside lives, the progress felt tangible and impactful. With these strides in mind, we entered a youth track meet to showcase this progress for parents and reward our athletes for their dedication.
As we approached Icahn stadium it was the unknown that scared all of us. With a crowd of over 4,000 in attendance, a schedule packed with runners of all abilities and a 400 meter race in front of us, the day was full of variables. But what unfolded was life changing. Our runners toed the starting line and took off to a standing ovation. Parents were overcome with emotion as the runners exceeded their personal goals, supported each other, and crossed the finish line full of pride as they gave a wave to the crowd. It wasn't just a one lap race. It was a moment that was so much larger than a track meet. It was the moment when Fast Feet was truly born.
Our adaptive running programs bring a holistic focus to supporting athletes. We work with our athletes to further their athletic potential, interests, and passion for running. Students have made incredible improvements and breakthroughs during our training sessions. Most notably, our student-athletes have run, skipped, jumped, and hopped for the first time. Ever. They are able to regulate their bodies, move quickly but safely, listen to and follow directions, and practice teamwork. These immense highs are a culmination of expert planning, patience, and diligent encouragement.
Adaptive runners are athletes
Equality in education and athletics is a pillar of Fast Feet's mission and vision. Adaptive runners are athletes.