What is Starting Strides?

The Starting Strides program began in 2012. The program provides scholarships to schools with economically disadvantaged communities to help eliminate the barriers that prevent students from running the Operation Smile Shamrock Final Mile. These barriers include financial costs and transportation.

The scholarship includes the following for up to 50 students at each school:

  • Running shoes
  • Shoe fitting from Running Etc.
  • Entry into the Operation Smile Shamrock Final Mile
  • School shirt to wear on race day
  • Transportation to and from the Operation Smile Shamrock Final Mile

In 2024, the Starting Strides program helped 821 students from 17 schools thanks to the J&A Racing Foundation and our school sponsors.

History of the Program

In 2012, J&A Racing’s owners, Jerry and Amy Frostick, visited a local elementary school to run with the students. During that visit, Amy met a boy who forever changed her view on running. After hearing that running is the only time he truly feels happy since he witnessed his own mother’s death, J&A Racing made it part of its mission to make running accessible to other students just like the one Amy ran with that day.

Want to know more?

For more information about the Starting Strides program, email Lori Cooper at lori@jandaracing.com.

For more information about becoming a school sponsor, email Jamie Rhoades at jamie@jandaracing.com.

Learn more about our events!

Live Events

Corporate 5K
June 18, 2024

Big Blue 5K
August 10, 2024

Virginia Beach 10 Miler
August 31-September 1, 2024

Crawlin’ Crab Half Marathon
October 5-6, 2024

Wicked 10K
October 25-26, 2024

Norfolk Harbor Half Marathon
November 23-24, 2024

Surf N Santa 5 Miler
December 13-14, 2024

Shamrock Marathon
March 14-16, 2025