The team warms up for their run by doing lunges. Photo by Sammie Seamon.
Running Club, coached by Ms. Brianne Welser and Coach Lora Tilson, began practice in the beginning of February. The club aims to get students ready for the Statesman Cap 10k race in Austin on April 23rd, although participating isn’t required.
“The goal is for people that want to train for the Capital 10k, to train and be in shape to run the six miles. For the girls in track, to be in shape before we do tryouts for track so that they can be more successful, and for people who [just] want to run to have a place to run, with other people,” Ms. Welser said.
The club is inclined to those just starting out. For now, they are running half a mile to a mile accompanied by mild conditioning, but hope to build up to the full 10k (about six miles) by the end of the eight-week program.
“I think the biggest thing is that I want them to see that they don’t have to think of it as daunting miles that they have to sprint and go as quickly as they can, that even if they are out there doing it and going the slowest pace, it’s better than doing nothing,” Coach Tilson said.
The club offers an alternative to begin running besides joining the cross country or track teams.
“I think starting slow is helpful, because sometimes during cross country, we start off day one with three miles, and for some middle schoolers that can be really overwhelming,” Ms. Welser said.
A running club has been something that has been woven in and out through the years, with Marathon High, as well as students forming small groups independently. Hopefully, with this program, a steady, annual club can be established.
“I think my goal would be to have a running club year round, even if it’s just a couple days a week,” Coach Tilson said.
The coaches hope that through the club, students can try out a new way to be active that they can use for the rest of their lives.
“I don’t think I would be a runner if I hadn’t joined cross country when I was in seventh grade. So it’s still something that I do everyday, it’s really good for my health, and I just want that for students, so that when they leave school, even if they don’t run in college, it’s still something they can do on their own,” Ms. Welser said.