Shortly after moving to Libertyville, leaving the south suburbs I grew up in and a running club I had recently founded (Homewood-Flossmoor Community Running Club), the show had to go on. With a published interview on the Libertyville Patch online newspaper (http://patch.com/illinois/libertyville/new-libertyville-resident-aiming-to-form-running-club), the Libertyville Running Club was born and staged its first group run on Saturday, December 21, 2013.
Now I can’t say that I wasn’t disheartened when only one person showed up that first run…and the following few runs. But, it was our polar vortex winter. However, by February there was a core group of about six of us battling the elements together. I had developed a formula for what I thought makes a successful running club and I was hopeful it would work in the north suburbs. In April, we kicked things off for spring with a 2 and 4-mile route and in June we began our coached speed workouts at Libertyville High School.
At the heart of it, LRC is more than just a running club. Though I left “Community” out of the club name this time around, the intention to build a supportive community of runners that supports its community remains. Throughout the year, we have visited a collection of local establishments which played host to A LOT of fun social gatherings, patronized area running stores, met and ran with other area running clubs, volunteered at many local races, donated to charities, and promoted and offered various fitness and yoga demos with the local gyms, trainers, instructors, etc… Through it all, we’ve always upheld a philosophy of No Runner Left Behind.
This is really my way of saying thank you to all of you for making this club what it is. We’re not the serious running club; who ever said you can’t partake in chicken wings at a track workout or make a maple bacon donut your mascot?! However, in one short year we’ve grown large enough to make an impact in our community and on one another. Personal records were shattered, friendships were forged, and Libertyville feels like home to me now.
2015 will not be a year for LRC to rest on its laurels. We’ll continue to be a supportive group for a diverse range of runners of all paces from 5k to ultras. In addition to half and full marathon training programs, speed workouts, hill workouts, fun runs and cross-training opportunities, we’ll forge some new partnerships, continue to provide discounts on running gear and at area businesses, and integrate some new features in a continuing effort to strengthen the running community.
So before the new year begins, be sure to send a check for your annual dues in the amount of $0 payable to: Libertyville Running Club. I hope you find the price to be reasonable. 🙂