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Central Vermont Runners celebrate one of its founders

Published: Jul. 19, 2020 at 10:17 AM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Since 1980, The Central Vermont Runners have been pounding the pavement, serving the needs of runners in the community by organizing more than a dozen events throughout the year.

“It’s a fun group,” club president, Manny Sainz said. “They’re fun to run with. They have a lot of knowledge and a lot of experience.”

No one has more knowledge or experience in this group than Darragh Ellerson. She was one of the founding four members of the group, proudly displaying that fact on her license plate, CVR 2.

“She’s very dedicated to running,” club member, Donna Smyers said. “She’s told me over and over about how when she was in grade school, they told her a girl can’t run five miles. You’re going to ruin yourself.”

“They called my parents in and my mother just looked at me and said, ‘Are you getting hurt?’ and I said, ‘No,’ she said, ‘Go ahead and run,’” Ellerson recalled.

Aches and pains from a broken neck more than 30 years ago caused Darragh to stop running right before her 80th birthday. She still walks two miles a day and for years before the pandemic, had been showing up each week to The Central Vermont Runners weekly fun runs to keep everyone’s time.

“People timed for years when I was running, so my feeling was, I like belonging to the club, I enjoy watching young runners, so timing fun runs sort of seemed like a natural,” Ellerson said.

Darragh recently turned 90-years-young and in this era of birthday parades, the Central Vermont Runners held a special one for her. On foot of course.”

“We had 20-25 people here plus a big board of all of the historical pictures and articles we could find on her,” Smyers said.

“It was nice, but it was such a surprise,” Ellerson said. “I didn’t even notice that the timer had 90 written on it.”

The Central Vermont Runners held a special celebration for founding member, Darragh Ellerson
The Central Vermont Runners held a special celebration for founding member, Darragh Ellerson(WCAX)

“People were running around saying happy birthday, giving her gifts,” Sainz said. “She was really happy.”

The Central Vermont runners aren’t holding its usual dozen events this year, but the one they put together this summer, serves the needs of this community by celebrating one of its own.

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