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Falmouth boy runs for a cause

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Falmouth boy runs for a cause

FALMOUTH — Ten-year-old Parker Wyatt runs hard and he runs fast. He also runs for a cause.

Parker has run more than 20 5K and 10K road races all over the United States to raise money for a variety of charities. This summer, he'll run the TD Bank Beach to Beacon Road Race in Cape Elizabeth, along with 6,000 other runners, to raise money for the race's beneficiary, Junior Achievement of Maine.

"I like to explore and it's great exercise," he said. "I get to see new places, especially in cross country."

In addition to his passion for running, Parker is passionate about fundraising. He has already raised the $500 required to run Beach to Beacon, and is currently campaigning to raise another $500 for the race. He made a Youtube video to solicit funds and is well on his way to his goal.

Parker and his family moved to Falmouth last summer from North Carolina, where he was an avid fan of the Carolina Hurricanes hockey team. A hockey player himself, Parker participated in a training day with other young Hurricane fans. However, when they asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up, instead of saying he wanted to play for the Hurricanes, Parker said he wanted to own the Hurricanes.

This is why raising money for Junior Achievement of Maine is so important to Parker. The organization teaches financial literacy and entrepreneurship to children.

"They help kids learn how to manage money and run a business," said Parker.

Junior Achievement had 50 racing bibs to hand out to anyone interested in participating. While there is a lottery for the regular racing bibs, which are already sold out, Junior Achievement still has some available on its website, jamaine.org.

Parker was the first person who registered through Junior Achievement to reach his $500 fundraising goal.

In the meantime, Parker is training hard for Beach to Beacon. He works out regularly at Parisi Speed School in Saco, which has equipment and a mini-track for young people to use.

He says he's ready and not nervous at all about the upcoming race.

It's no wonder. Parker won first place in the 14 and under age category in the Kerryman Pub 5K, and has won several other races in New Hampshire and North Carolina.

"I'll try to run as much as I can until then," he said.

Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or eparkhurst@theforecaster.net