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Runners and walkers brave cold to start 2015

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 January 2014 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – It may have been snowing, windy and cold, but a group from the Albion area still got out on Saturday for walks and runs ranging from 0.5 to 3.1 miles.

In the top photo, Thom Jennings (left) and Greg Staines run along the sidewalk on West Avenue as part of their run.

The Albion Running Club kicked off the “Fit in 50” program on Saturday. About 20 participants attended the debut session which will be on Saturdays for the next three months before possibly changing to a different day when the weather gets warmer. The program with group walks and runs will continue throughout the year. Newcomers are welcome to join at any time.

Debbie Restivo, a nurse with the county health department, takes the blood pressure of Kathy Jurs.

Each participant can have their height, weight and blood pressure checked. Restivo and the Running Club will take the blood pressure, height and weight the first month for interested participants to record if there are changes throughout the year.

The data could be used to help the Running Club secure grant funding for fitness and wellness programs.

The Greater Rochester Health Foundation has provided a $17,000 grant for the Running Club in 2015, with some of that money helping with the “Fit in 50” weekly program.

People have better success at achieving their fitness goals when they are part of a supportive group, said Brian Krieger (pictured in blue shirt), Running Club executive director.

Wayne Litchfield, 63, of Medina attended the Saturday kickoff. He walked a half mile with a cane. Litchfield was in a health care facility for a year before being released in 2013.

He is working on getting stronger and improving his balance.

“I want to do it in a group with encouragement,” he said. “My goal is more strength, more cardio. My life is just beginning. I have too much to do.”

Kathy Jurs of Albion ran a half marathon a year ago at Disney World. She traveled to Monroe County for many of her group training runs. She is thankful there will be local group for running.

She liked that the group was out along Route 31 in the village on a cold day. She hopes the sight encourages other people to be more active this year.

The debut group poses for a photo before their first “Fit in 50” walk or run on Saturday.

“I thought it was pretty cool to see people walking and running in my hometown,” she said.

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

The group is meeting at 2 p.m. on Saturdays at the community room of the GCASA’s building across from the Albion Middle School. (Use the lower entrance of GCASA’s site at 249 East Ave.)

Participants will receive awards for reaching mileage milestones. 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.

The Greater Rochester Health Foundation grant also will pay for materials for Run for God, a 12-week training program that starts in March and culminates with a 5K at the Strawberry Festival on June 13.

The grant will also pay most of the cost for a new pair of running shoes for up to 100 people. Participants will pay $20 towards a pair of Brooks sneakers that will be fitted by personnel from the Fleet Feet Sports. The first fitting will be Sunday (Jan. 18) from 2 to 4 p.m. at Hoag Library.

For more information on the Running Club and its programs, click here.