Run For the Roses

Run For the Roses

Just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snows, lies the seed that with the sun''s love, in the spring, becomes the rose.”

— Amanda McBroom

Run For the Roses

By Cheryl D. Hart

In the midst of winter, it is hard to imagine the warmth of spring. However, we are fortunate here in Louisville to host a string of running events that give us something to strive for as we journey toward spring.

Each year, runners and walkers in Louisville ready themselves for a series of challenges that culminate on April 28 with the Kentucky Derby Festival Mini and Marathon. The Louisville Triple Crown of Running, open to walkers and runners, kicks off the series with the Anthem 5K Fitness Classic on March 3, followed by the Rodes City Run (10K) on March 17, and the Papa John''s 10 Miler on March 31.

The new Louisville Triple Crown of Running encourages walkers and runners to embrace a healthier lifestyle and pursuing a new goal is the first step. You can run any or all of the races, but must finish all three to be eligible to receive an official Triple Crown Series T-shirt.

The distances increase gradually, in perfect sync with your increased level of fitness and confidence. Each time you reach one milestone, you are ready to reach for another. As a friend of mine often says, “Mile by mile, it''s a trial, but inch by inch it''s a cinch.”

I might add that running down the goals alone can be long, dark path, but with the support of others, the miles pass more easily and are much more memorable. This year, there is a wide-variety of training groups from which to choose. Commit to a goal, a training plan and a group with whom you will share the miles and smiles.

Training groups:

  • Baptist East Milestone Wellness Center: “The Rundown to the Triple Crown 10 week Program” kicks off Jan. 20 at 11 a.m. from the Wellness Center. There will be organized group runs each Saturday morning, followed by stretch sessions. They will also have strength training programs, T-shirts, and a series of speakers. Contact Monica Murphy at 502-896-3900 Ext. 115.
  • Fleet Feet Sports: Are you ready to go? The training program begins the week of Jan. 8 with group runs on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday mornings at 8 a.m. There is no charge for group runs. They offer a full training package ($80) with coaches, long sleeved T-shirts, caps, gloves, socks, logbook, lectures, drawstring pack, flashing light, CD, and much more. They will have guest lectures the second Thursday of every month. Contact Camille Estes 502-479-8786 or visit .
  • Ken Combs Running Store: Free support group for beginning and intermediate runners launches beginning of January. There is a training schedule and group runs leave from the store every Saturday up through the end of April, followed by refreshments. Participants receive store discounts and advice from owner Larry Holt. Contact Tracy Lightfoot at , call 502-558-0853 or visit
  • Southeast Christian Church: Group training runs every Saturday morning at 7:30 a.m., departing from the St. Matthews Baptist Church on Grandview Avenue near Seneca Park. They sometimes run other courses, as well. All levels are encouraged to participate. There will also be a lecture series on Thursday nights at 6:30 p.m. at the Activity Center. For more information, call Terry Gehrke at 502-253-8623 or e-mail .
  • Swag''s Sport Shoes: Want to be ready to attack the 3 miles of hills in Iroquois Park for Papa Johns and the Mini-Marathon? Join Swag and his group for hill sessions every Tuesday night at 6 p.m. beginning Jan. 2, departing from the Iroquois Park Amphitheater. For more information, call Swag Hartel at 502-368-2443.
  • 2 nd Wind Motivation: “Head Over Heels Training” is sponsoring a women''s group program “Running Out of the Darkness & Into the Light.” Every Monday, beginning Jan. 15, at 6:30 a.m. runners and walkers will meet at Seneca Park to embrace the dawn (will coordinate with sunrise). Coffee afterward. The series of workshops will include goal setting, motivation, injury prevention, self-esteem & body image and skills for living fully in the moment. An introductory session is scheduled for Jan. 7 at 3 p.m. Contact Cheryl Hart at 502-693-7443 or visit . Step by step, facing the cold and dark together we''ll emerge in spring — stronger physically, emotionally and spiritually. More info available at expo (see below).
  • Training Studio Multisport welcomes every ability level from walkers to competitive athletes. They “are not a group of highly competitive athletes training at a professional level; just average people trying to achieve personal goals.” An open house is scheduled for Jan. 6 from 7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. to answer any questions regarding the program. The team will provide information, motivation, training support and social activities. Call Dale Benedict at 502-893-4024 or visit .
  • WHAS Team Crusade: Crusade for Children was established by WHAS-TV in 1954 to raise money to help children with special needs. Now you have a chance to run with WHAS 11''s Kirby Adams for Team Crusade, a running team that receives training benefits as they raise donations for the cause. They will meet every Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. for group training runs from Fleet Feet Sports Store on Bardstown Road. For more information, visit .
  • YMCA Training Program: Will meet once a week at each of the YMCA''s seven locations. The official training calendar begins the last week in January. The cost is $30 for facility members and $40 for non-facility members, which includes a special Triple Crown of Running Training Program T-shirt, two guest passes and free injury screenings. Beginning in late January, the group will meet every Saturday morning at a designated location. A variety of free seminars will be held to cover all the pertinent training components. For more information visit or contact Andrea McAfee at 502-587-2371 or .

Attention all triathletes, duathletes, runners, bikers and swimmers: There will be an Athlete''s Informational “Kick-Off Your Training” Expo on Jan. 14 from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. at Baptist East Milestone Wellness Center. Those interested in learning about local resources for reaching their 2007 goals are encouraged to attend.

The expo will offer the opportunity to tour the Milestone Wellness Center facility, and to meet a representative from various businesses including the Louisville Bike Club, triathlon coaching and Masters swimming, bike fitting, mental skills & performance enhancement consultant, shoe store, bike store, nutrition specialists, physical therapist, personal training, running form analysis and much more.

With Triple Crown, Mini-Marathon & Marathon, Ironman Louisville, Senior World Games and so many other challenges ahead, it''s time to begin. If you''re looking for a goal, you will find one here. Don''t miss the chance to get started on the right foot and to work toward your goals wisely and with professionals who can help you maximize your chances of achieving them.

Non-members who attend the expo will receive a one-week pass to the Baptist East Milestone Wellness Center. Introduction and welcome begins at 4 p.m. For more information, contact Milestone at 502-896-3900 or Cheryl Hart at 502-693-7443.

Cheryl Hart, owner of 2 nd Wind Motivation, helps individuals, teams and corporations establish and achieve goals. She is a motivational speaker, performance enhancement consultant and certified fitness specialist and is currently working on a master''s degree in sports psychology. Cheryl is also a marathoner and All-American triathlete and duathlete, competing internationally on Team USA. To contact Cheryl call 502-693-7443, e-mail or visit

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