Ten-year-old Robby Hall is preparing to undertake the biggest challenge of his running career on Saturday when he participates in the Beach to Beacon.
Hall and his mother Denise Dahl, an instructor at the B-Fit gym in Scarborough , are both running the race as a fund-raiser for the Kids First Center, an organization that assists children and families during divorce. The two are members of the organization’s Beach to Beacon racing team that is hoping to raise $20,000.
Hall’s parents are divorcing and, although he has not actually utilized the services of Kids First, he figured running the race as part of their team would be a good way to help the organization.
Hall, who will be entering fifth grade this fall, said the 6.4-mile Beach to Beacon will be the longest race he has ever run. It also will be the highest profile, with some 5,000 people participating.
But neither the size of the field nor the length of its course concerns Hall, who said he is looking forward to the challenge and the chance to run with some of the world’s best runners who will be participating in the race. He is hoping to finish the race in 50 minutes.
Hall has been preparing for the race for some time now. He has purchased a new pair of sneakers and has prepared his race day breakfast that will consist of chocolate Lucky Charms, a meal that he considers good luck.
In addition, he has been training all summer. Hall participates in the Scarborough Recreation Department’s summer track program several times a week and also runs with his mother once a week.
“It’s challenging,” Hall said about running.
Dahl said running with her son also provides quality time with her son.
“It’s a good getaway,” she said. “It’s a good escape.”
He also will draw off the experience he has developed in running other road races. Hall began racing when he was 8, when he ran the Turkey Trot in Cape Elizabeth. At 9 he ran in the Sea Dogs Mother’s Day 5K and last weekend he ran in the 5-mile Peaks Island, where he was the youngest runner. He completed the race in 39 minutes, finishing 134th out of 500 runners. Hall even managed to beat his mother by two minutes.
“It’s really neat; it’s exciting for him to race and finish,” Dahl said.
Ultimately Hall would like to run in a marathon by the time he is 18.
“It’s neat he has that ambition at this age,” Dahl said.
So far the fund-raiser has been going well and Hall has raised $200. But his goal is $500 and he is still seeking community donations. Those who wish to donate can stop by the B-Fit gym on Route 1 in Scarborough.