Running for Lynn

Posted on March 21, 2010


Lara Goodman, with her two sons, Eli and Leo. Photo by Mary Robbins.

It was a rain of Noah’s arc proportions, and she ran for 18 miles in it. Lara Goodman, former resident of Lynn now living in Swampscott, is training for the Cox Providence Marathon on May 5. As a board member of the East Lynn Community Association (ELCA), she decided to use her participation in the marathon as an opportunity to raise money for the organization. She was not looking forward to 18 miles in the pouring rain. This is her first marathon, having previously competed in 2 half-marathons.

So I was glad to give her the news that Jocelyn Almy Testa of the Little Gallery Under the Stairs (TLGUTS) in downtown Lynn had just donated to her effort. Lara was in the first Mother’s Who Create exhibition in 2009, a show displaying the work of mothers balancing the demands of care-taking and a career in the arts.

Lara is an artist. A mother. A runner. She lives with her husband, two children and dog in Swampscott. Originally from Brookline, she moved from Cambridge to Lynn with her family in 2004 and stayed for 4 years. What drew them to Lynn was its proximity to the water, the commuter rail and the comparatively affordable housing market. She worked in the Marblehead public schools as an art teacher.

“My community,” says Lara, “runs along the water from Swampscott to Nahant.” In May of 2006, she met Mary Trahan, president of the ELCA. They were both walking their dogs on the beach when Lara saw Mary picking up trash. “Lynn has much to offer, but it needs all the help it can get,” says Lara, so she decided to join the ELCA to help promote pride and ownership in the Lynn Community through beautification, education, recreation and neighborly relationships.

One of the first things the ELCA did was to team up with students from the Brickett Elementary school to present a holiday program for the residents of senior housing on Eastern Avenue. Lara taught a lesson on landscape and community. With the help of the Mayor’s Office and Darren Cyr, all the kids were transported to King Beach Towers where they presented holiday cards they made and sang holiday songs. Since then, the ELCA has sponsored neighborhood clean-ups at Kiley Park, city council and mayoral debates and a city-wide community resource fair. (In the interest of full disclosure, I am also on the board of ELCA.)

Now living in Swampscott, Lara still cares about the city of Lynn. She remains an active member of the ELCA. She runs anywhere between 2-20 miles per day training for the Cox Sports Marathon in May, even when she would rather stay inside.