Area club hits the ground running

Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2001

Picture this. It's 5 a.m. on a rainy summer morning and your alarm clock rings. Oh yeah, you remember. You were going to get up, drive over to Seward and do the Lost Lake Trail today by yourself.

Is it gonna happen? Considering the weather and how comfortable the bed still feels, probably not.

Now picture this. It's 5 a.m. on that same rainy summer morning when the alarm clock rings. Oh yeah, you remember. Members of the Peninsula Running Club are coming to pick me up in 30 minutes. We're doing the Lost Lake Trail today.

Is it gonna happen? Probably. With somebody on the way to pick you up already, you don't really have a choice.

"It's a quilting bee for runners," said Mindee Morning, a member of the Peninsula Running Club. "You feel more inclined to run when you know somebody's out there who shares that same interest as you do."

Although the word "club" often calls to mind mandatory meetings and expensive dues, Morning describes the Peninsula Running Club as a "real loose organization."

There are no mandatory meetings. Dues are not even set for this year. The club will wait until they find a coach, then simply split up the fee he or she charges.

Morning said the aim of the club isn't to get everyone running five-minute miles, although she did say many of the club's runners have watched their times drop significantly.

"It's a good, core group of people who've all learned how to get together -- fastest to slowest," Morning said. "I like to work out fairly slower, but we all manage to get to the end where there's food and eat at the same time.

"You've got to remember the important things in life."

Morning said the club has about 18 to 20 core members, with others occasionally dropping by. Although club activities have been going on for seven or eight years, the group has been organized under the name Peninsula Running Club for four years.

Club activities include the following:

n Meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednes-days in the Soldotna High School parking lot for a run. This will change once the tracks are no longer covered with snow.

n Meeting at Kaladi Brothers Coffee Company at 9 a.m. on Saturdays for runs.

n Meeting for trail runs. The club will be having an organized crossing of the Lost Lake trail on July 4 and on August 5.

Morning also said the group will be organizing runs on the Resurrection trail, the Russian River trails and some trails around Hope. She said most of these runs will be on Sunday mornings.

"It's always good for single, new people in the area because going into the woods can be kind of dicey if you're going alone," Morning said. "It's always fun to have someone with you.

"I feel a lot more comfortable having somebody there."

n Car pooling to out-of-town races.

n Getting together once a month throughout the summer for a potluck dinner after a workout.

n The group also plans a weekly run at Tsalteshi Trails, although the day of the week for this year hasn't yet been determined.

"It seems like a lot of people would rather do trail running," Morning said. "Some people are even shy about being at Tsalteshi alone, so they prefer those nights when they know they're not far away from anybody."

Morning said walkers are always welcome, and she added that workouts never get canceled due to weather.

In order to join, Morning said runners can just show up at one of the workouts.

If there are any questions, call Morning at 283-3954 or Connie Best at 262-9502. Morning also said those interested in keeping abreast of the running and trail running schedule can e-mail her at mm_dreambig@alaska.com.



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