A runner enjoying one of the many forest roads surrounding Sisters. photo by Charlie Kanzig
By Charlie Kanzig
Sisters is a very active community of cyclists, hikers, skiers and runners. A love of the outdoors leads many to these pursuits which have the added benefit of contributing to good health.
I ran into ultra-marathoner Sean Meissner at Ray's this week and caught up on his recent training and racing. Here's a guy who, thanks to that warm spell we had a few weeks ago, got in some 100-mile running weeks in the middle of the winter. He agreed that whether people are running 5k or 100k, we are all part of the Sisters running community.
"We can all share in the joy of running on the roads and trails around Sisters," he said. "The beauty of running is that people of all ages can take part, it takes very little equipment, and around here you can have a great run right out your front door."
It is that same mindset that spurred Tate Metcalf of Sisters Athletic Club, along with Josh Nordell, to form the Sisters Multi-Sport group (www.sistersmultisport.com) in order to foster participation locally for runners in Sisters to have events to take part in.
The program has already been successful in hosting the first New Year's Resolution Run as well a snowshoe race at Hoodoo. The next race, a 5k and 10k trail run the day after St. Patrick's Day - The St. Pattie's Shamrock Run - is designed for runners of all ages, experience and speed.
"The St. Pattie's Run is unique in that it takes place at 6 p.m. Friday, March 18 from the Sisters Athletic Club, right at the start of spring break for our local schools," said Nordell. "For adults, the event will include beer tasting afterwards, sponsored by Three Creeks Brewing Company, along with live music provided by the Sisters High School jazz band."
One recent convert to running and racing is Terri Brown, who works at Sisters Middle School as a receptionist and bookkeeper. She took part in the "Learn to Run" program sponsored by the FootZone running store in Bend last fall, and completed a half-marathon on March 6 in Lincoln City.
She is totally hooked on running for fitness.
The Learn to Run class provides a non-competitive, supportive opportunity for people who want to establish a foundational walking or running routine in their lives. The next class begins March 26 and focuses on getting participants ready for the annual Salmon Run, May 7 in Bend. Another class starts on April 27 and will prepare for the Heaven Can Wait Run scheduled for June 5.
Teague Hatfield of FootZone has been overwhelmed by the popularity of these classes.
"We thought we would get a modest response, but each time we open a new session it basically fills up," he said. "It's been super satisfying to see so many people getting into the running scene." Information on the Learn to Run programs, along with a comprehensive list of upcoming events, can be found at www.footzonebend.com.
If you are now thinking that you want to start or restart your running "career," a few guidelines are in order:
1. Get a health checkup if you are over 40 and have not been aerobically active in recent years.
2. Find a good pair of shoes that work for your size and the surface you will be running on. Both FootZone and Fleet Feet in Bend do an excellent job of finding the right shoe for you.
3. Use resources available to help design an initial training program. The Learn to Run classes are very comprehensive. You may also consult a trainer or access any of innumerable books written on the subject.
Jeff Galloway is one authoritative "guru" on all levels of running. Runner's World magazine (and its Web site) are chock-full of good articles on the subject as well.
4. Start conservatively to help prevent injury. Many running programs begin with walking for the first two to three weeks. You can then moving to a combination of jogging and walking, slowly increasing the amount of time you run.
Other local events coming up this spring include the ninth annual Peterson Ridge Rumble 20- and 40-mile trail runs on Sunday, April 10, and Charlie's Challenge 15k, set for Father's Day, June 19.
Yes, that second one bears my name because I wanted to invite all the people I have ever coached in cross country and track during my long career to experience the tremendous beauty of the trails we have here in Sisters Country. Once a coach, always a coach; I had to throw down the "challenge."
I have heard from "kids" I coached as far back as 20 years ago who say they want to come out for this reunion run. My hope is that ALL, and I mean ALL the local runners will also join in. If you would like to help as a volunteer for any of the upcoming local runs, or have questions, ideas or comments about running in Sisters, please contact me at email@example.com. Happy running!
Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Article comment by:
What a great article! It is amazing that people don't think they can run because they never have I personally have learned that it can be done. I started with the "Learn to Run" program through Footzone and then trained for the Portland Marathon with USA Bend Fit. My one year anniversary of running comes up in April and within that time I have participated in several 1/2 marathons, a couple 5K's and also the Portland Marathon last October. My race calendar is already getting full this year which I love! I experienced a new PR in Lincoln City taking 9:30 off my previous half marathon time that alone is enough to keep me going strong! I have gleaned so much information from other runners over the last year and am grateful that they love the sport so much they want to see everyone experience success. Being a runner has taught me a great deal about myself ... given me self-confidence ... and as a grandmother of five the energy I needed to keep up with the grandchildren! Thank you again Charlie for your articles on fitness and health!!!