DreamFar club provides a sense of community for new runners

If you go to room 112, it is likely that you will witness something extraordinary: the making of a marathon.

Across much of Boston, schools come together throughout the school year and work up to the one goal of being able to run the Boston marathon at the end of the year. To do this, students in the DreamFar club come together to practice and run up to three times a week, including early mornings on Saturdays.

Matheus Nascimento, a junior who has been a part of the club since the beginning of the year, said that many people who have little running experience join the club, which does a good job supporting new runners and strengthening their abilities.

“The people who joined us in 2021, with the exception of one, were not necessarily athletes,” Nascimento said. “I feel like they did a good job of warming us up, having us start off with one mile and then two. That way anyone, even if they don’t have any experience, could work themselves up to it.”

Maika Lansing, also a junior, said that Robin Toback, the leader of the DreamFar club at the high school, also does much to support incoming runners.

“She kept making me believe that I could do it. She really believes that everybody can run a marathon,” Lansing said.

Nascimento said he felt that the mentors of the club were supportive of his running journey.

“My favorite thing about the club is how connected you become with your mentor,” he said. “They are really with you on this journey and they really do a good job of making you feel welcome and making you feel like you’re making progress and making you feel supported,” Nascimento said.

The club not only offers support to novice runners, but also offers a sense of comfort and community.

Lansing said that in Brookline, she feels like school can be competitive. However, the DreamFar Club offers inclusivity and openness to different abilities.

“I feel like, especially at Brookline, there’s kind of a pressure to not be a beginner at it,” Lansing said. “And so I just really love that the club is so inclusive, so open to everybody. And it’s so not competitive. People who didn’t like sports before could go into DreamFar.”

The club has also offered a chance to improve the mental health of many of its members. Lansing said that she did not need to be good at running to enjoy the club.

“I only had to be willing to meet people and to try new things and to have fun,” Lansing said.

To increase a sense of community and belonging, events are also held for club members to relax and recuperate after the marathon run in April. Toback said that huge ice cream socials are held at the end of the year to celebrate the accomplishments of the club members.

Toback said that high school students should join the club.

“We always want students to join,” Toback said. “It is just such a great community and experience, definitely worth it.”