Foundation approves $17K grant for fitness efforts in Orleans County

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 December 2014 at 12:00 am

Provided Photo – The Greater Rochester Health Foundation approved a $17,000 grant to the Albion Running Club for three programs. The following are pictured, from left: Brian Krieger, Running Club executive director; Thom Jennings, Running Club communications director; and John Urban, president and CEO of the Greater Rochester Health Foundation.

ALBION – An organization committed to improving fitness in the community has been given a boost from the Greater Rochester Health Foundation.

The Foundation announced the Albion Running Club has been awarded a $17,000 grant for three initiatives.

The Running Club, a 501c3 non-profit organization, in January will launch “The Shoe Fits” and “Fit in 50” programs. It March it will continue the “Run For God,” a 12-week training program that culminates with a 5K at the Strawberry Festival on June 13.

With The Shoe Fits, residents can receive a new pair of running shoes for $20. That includes a professional shoe fitting. The grant from the Foundation will cover the difference in the cost of the shoes for up to 100 pairs.

The first shoe fitting is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday on Jan. 18 at the Hoag Library in Albion. Shoes will be available to Orleans County residents who pay $20 and commit to one of the Albion Running Club training programs. Personnel from the Fleet Feet Sports will come to Albion to fit residents into a new pair of Brooks sneakers.

The Running Club will also launch a “Fit in 50″ weekly running program. People have better success at achieving their fitness goals when they are part of a supportive group, said Brian Krieger, Running club executive director.”Fit in 50” is a year-long program designed to support participants, whether they are a novice runner, jogger or even a fast walker.

Each week the Running Club will gather for a group run, with participants choosing the distance best suits them, whether it be 1.5 miles or longer. Each run or walk will have a theme or a unique name that ties in with the time of year, Krieger said.

A nurse from the Orleans County Health Department will check participants for blood pressure, weight and BMI (body mass index) at the beginning, middle and end of the 50 weeks, if participants want that data.

There will also be post run gatherings and opportunities for mini workshops. “Fit in 50” will go year-round with two holiday weeks off.

Participants will receive awards for reaching mileage milestones. When participants cover 26.2 miles (the length of a marathon) through the cumulative total of their runs or walks, they will receive a Philippides coin to commemorate the distance covered.

The I-90 Buffalo to Rochester Medal will be given at the 73.7 mile mark and participants covering 200 kilometers (124 miles) in the program will receive a medal and T-shirt.

Members will also be eligible for local race discounts and other area promotions. The Foundation grant covers the cost of the program, making membership free to participants.

“Fit In 50” starts on Jan. 10 at a location to be determined. For more information on the program, visit

The Run For God program includes a spiritual element with Biblical devotions. That 12-week program starts on March 8 at the Albion Free Methodist Church. The Health Foundation grant will pay for some shirts and books for the program.

For more on Run For God, click here.

The Running Club also is planning three races in Albion in 2015: The Run For Wayne on March 28 (a 3.17-mile event in memory of Running Club co-founder Wayne Burlison); the 5K and 8K Strawberry Festival races on June 13; and The Metro 10, a 10-mile race pitting runners from Rochester and Buffalo on Aug. 22.

For more information, visit