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The original idea was to train kids who had never run before, to build them up and help them develop the endurance and skill needed to conquer a 5K. But the kids had so much fun, they kept coming back, season after season. “It becomes a social thing,” Angela said. “They look forward to running club because their friends are there.” So, Angela and her coaches started a 10K program for those experienced young runners who want to keep growing and having fun. The running club easily accommodates all fitness levels—from the brandnew to the race-tested. “It’s not competitive with each other,” Angela said. “What we focus on is that running is fun ... It’s an individual sport—you can go at your own pace.” Instead, kids compete with themselves, trying to better their own time. At least two coaches are always on hand to encourage, guide and accompany young runners in their efforts, one with newbies and another with the veterans.

T

he program runs (literally) two days a week and every other Saturday. One day focuses on speed and the other on endurance. Often, they play games (voted upon by the kids) that involve running; they have so much fun “they don’t even realize they’re running,” Angela said. Each practice begins with a thorough warm-up and stretch-

ing—and beyond just running, the kids learn the importance of nutrition, hydration, and even proper footwear. Because, like every machine, the body needs the right fuel to run most efficiently. But it’s the unexpected results that Angela has found most rewarding. “We’ve had parents who

weren’t runners become runners to do the race with their kids,” Angela said. She describes running the outdoor trail at the Winslow Sports Complex and coming across one of their first participants running with his mother. They run together twice a week since her son was in the club, the mother told her. And the races themselves often reveals kids at their best. The coaches, club members and parents gather the night before the race for a big pasta dinner to “carb load,” then—all in matching shirts—they start the race together. They don’t finish together because each individual is free to go at his or her own pace—but they all finish. “We’ve had kids walk half the course,” Angela says, “but we’ve never had a kid not finish.” When they’re done, all the club members stay at the finish line to encourage their friends. “Everyone stays and cheers,” Angela said, and describes a community spirit has warmly enveloped the coaches, the kids and even their families. “That wasn’t the goal—but it’s a nice side effect.”

Monroe County YMCA

SPRING FAMILY RUN/WALK LK

& HEALTHY KIDS DAY April 13, 2013 Presented by

5K

10K

5K Race Walk

Fun Run

C<8IE s ?<8C s C@M<

For more information and to sign up, visit monroecountyymca.org HT-6180890

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Profile for Hoosier Times Inc.

Adventure Indiana | Spring 2013  

South-Central Indiana's Adventure Magazine

Adventure Indiana | Spring 2013  

South-Central Indiana's Adventure Magazine

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