BOISE, Idaho — After a three-year break because of COVID-19, the YMCA’s Harrison Classic Kids Race returned to Boise on Sunday afternoon for its 38th year.
More than 1,100 children, from four years old to 13 years old, raced on the one-mile course down Harrison Road. YMCA race director Allison Evaro said the event is a well-loved tradition for many families.
“Each year, it’s just more special for every one of these kids,” she said. “A lot of parents have done this as a young child. So, they get to come and watch their kids do it now.”
Many parents ran with their children. Evaro said the overall goal of the race is to encourage healthy lifestyles — not just for the children racing but for their families as well.
“It’s just an awesome way for the kids to see their parents be active and healthy and support them,” she said. “And just spending time together doing something other than being at home.”
Max Anderson, Boise High School junior, said the Harrison Classic holds a special place in his heart. Anderson started participating as a child.
Now, he is back volunteering with IncludeAbility, an organization working to ensure children with disabilities can participate in youth sports and other activities.
"I think it's really important to give back to the community," he said, "and I used to do this when I was younger."
This was IncludeAbility’s third year partnering with the YMCA for the race. The organization paired 20 Boise High School student volunteers with 20 children with disabilities, IncludeAbility spokesperson Doug Cole said.
“The overall message is just, include all people in anything,” BHS senior Jamie Mckinney said.
Another BHS senior, Lauren Legarreta, agreed.
“Not to think somebody couldn’t do something because of their ability,” she said. “Because we’re all capable of so many things, and we just have to honor each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”
Evaro said the Harrison Classic helps kids of all abilities reach their full potential and "learn how strong they really are."
Although more than 1,100 children participated this year, Evaro said Sunday’s race was not their biggest, and that she hopes it only grows each year.
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