by Eellen Rossow
Saturday, Oct. 24 marked the MSUM Running Club’s first annual 5k run. The run’s theme matched many other October events in raising awareness for breast cancer.
Interim Associate Director of Health and Wellness Charmaine English played a big role in the creation and execution of the run — Running Club’s first ever event.
“We had 35 runners for our first event, which we consider a huge success,” she said. “Even President Blackhurst showed up to run with us.”
Unlike most 5k runs, the run was completely free for participants. Its objective was raising awareness, rather than raising money.
“Our main purpose was to offer a free 5k (usually registration for 5k events average $35) for our campus community, raise awareness about our club and what they have to offer as well as support and bring awareness regarding breast cancer awareness month,” English said.
The event was hosted in cooperation with Hendrix wellness educators, who handed out goodie bags with information on breast cancer prevention.
English said the event ran into a few speed bumps, but those are all part of the process.
“As with all events, we had a few unexpected glitches, which thankfully were minor and, at the end, laughable,” she said.
Some included one runner crossing the finish line from the wrong direction and the lead bike riding in the middle of the pack as opposed to leading.
Despite any issues, the club plans to host more 5k’s and other events in the future.
“We plan on hosting a 5k once a year, to start, as well as looking at other opportunities to have events and have the club participate in community running events,” she said.
This is just the beginning for Running Club, which is only in its second semester and is not yet an official student organization.
“My goal is to establish the right group of student leaders, launch the club, gain a following and regular group of attendees, then hopefully apply to be an official student organization at the university sometime in the next few semesters,” English said.
Since English started here in 2011, she has wanted to start a Wellness Center running club, and she is pleased to see her vision come to life every Wednesday morning at 7 a.m.
“When the club meets each week, they get nutrition information created just for them from the Wellness Center’s registered dietitian, workout routines from our personal trainers and routes for 3-, 5- or 7-mile runs outdoors,” she said.
Running Club is free and open to runners of all levels.
“No fees, no registration,” she said. “You do not need to be a member of the Wellness Center. You just need to show up and run.”
Running Club welcomes everyone on campus as well as non-student Wellness Center members.
“As a new organization with the mission of being non-intimidating and supportive to runners of all abilities, joining our group on Wednesday mornings is a great way to stay motivated in your current running routine or begin a running regimen with the non-judgmental help of fellow runners,” she said.
English said Running Club is also “a great place to get nutrition information and workout routines that support a healthy lifestyle for runners and non-runners.”
The club is one of many health and wellness clubs students can get involved with on campus. Rock Climbing Club, also advised by English, recently competed at NDSU’s Fall Crawl Competition and “dominated.”
Whether one is interested in competitive athletics or just staying fit, English encourages students to get involved.
“Above all, meeting with a regular group is a great way to stay accountable, motivated and push yourself to meet some bigger goals you might not get to on your own,” English said.