In the summer of 1996 there was a very volatile group of children living at St. Charles. We had recently met at a Family meeting to try to brainstorm ideas with the children about what would be a good way to channel their energy and their anger. Many suggestions were made—such as walking it out, swinging it out, coloring it out, running it out, etc. Sister Maximilian took up the idea of going for a walk each day with Rosie, who was a very high strung 7 year old. Each day they’d walk together but one day Sister Maximilian said, “I’ll race you to that tree.” Soon she and Rosie were running a mile each day and Sister challenged the boys to see if they could keep up with Rosie. Only the oldest boy could do so. Not to be outdone, the boys and then the other girls also began to run every day. Soon Sister Mary Agnes and Sister Mary Rose also started to run with the children.
Sister Mary Rose noticed an advertisement for a 5K race at the check-out counter of Red’s Shoe Barn one rainy morning in 1996. At the time she could not have imagined what God was going to do as a result of her picking up that one sheet of paper. Sister Mary Rose remembers feeling very excited about showing the Sisters this race leaflet and she was very happy when some of the children and Sister Maximilian ran this race; it was the Channel 11 Race in Durham, NH.
This was how the St. Charles Eagles running team was born. Sister Maximilian and Rosie and a few of the other children ran that first race and when the children saw they could beat many of the adults who were there, they were thrilled! The Sisters and children began to go to other races and then Willis Insurance Agency offered to sponsor the first annual St. Charles Children’s Home 5K Labor Day Race in 1996. In September 2016 our race celebrated its 20th anniversary! If you’d like to register for the Labor Day 2017 race on September 4th please go to our other website: www.runningnuns.com