Have you ever stood on sidewalks during a running event and watched the bib-wearing participants race down the street? Maybe wondered what it would be like to experience the feeling of accomplishment as you cross the finish line?
Or maybe you’ve peered out your window on a frigid morning only to see a lone runner heading down the street on a day when only the most desperate will head outdoors? Maybe looked at them with a strange mixture of both admiration and awe?
This may be the year then to check it off your bucket-list and develop a passion that will help you develop not only a lifetime of fitness, but also fun and friendship through the Cornwall Multisport Club.
Registration for the organization’s popular Learn to Run program is now underway, and at its helm to lead it will be club president, Rick Croney. A long-time runner and veteran athlete, he’s ready to help both newbie runners as well as those with a little more experience under their sneakers who are seeking extra motivation during the 10-week program.
“We’re very proud of our Learn to Run program,” said Croney, an Ontario Provincial Police officer in his real life. “We want to encourage all levels of participants to embrace the sport through a gently designed program that gradually introduces them to it through a combination of both walking and running.
“Even if you can’t run a block now, we can help you to achieve more than you ever thought possible.”
The 10-week program kicks-off on Feb. 16 at General Vanier Community Centre (enter by north doors), on Cumberland Street, at 9:30 a.m. Participants meet once a week on Saturday mornings during the program for a minimal amount of time, usually about one-hour, where the learn the basics and gradually increase their running endurance over a 20-minute time frame.
“We begin with a very basic introduction of two minutes of walking, then one minute of running for the first week,” Croney explained. “The ratio evolves over the course of the program so that eventually you will be able to run 10 minutes with a one minute break, with the goal of being able to finish a 5 kilometre run by its completion.
“The timing is perfect for those considering participating in the Run to End MS taking place April 27 in Cornwall.”
If you’re not a speed-bunny, no worries. The program encourages participation and healthy lifestyles and is geared towards all levels of ability.
“No one is left behind,” stated Croney. “We want everyone to be able to enjoy and relish their abilities and accomplishments.
“We pride ourselves on encouraging a very supportive atmosphere for all members, whether they’re Boston Marathoners or back-of-the-packers.”
Registration for the 10-week program is $40 for individuals, and $80 for families. It also includes a one-year membership to the Cornwall Multisport Club where you can help keep your new-found fitness level going strong with a variety of year-long events. These include 8 organized and timed club runs, spring and fall socials, two organized and timed duathlons, weekly training opportunities, weekly newsletter and Facebook page.
“The Cornwall Multisport Club is just that,” said Croney. “While many people might associate it with running, which naturally is our core strength, we also offer cycling and swimming participants a number of opportunities to challenge themselves both individually and in club events.
“Membership does have its privileges.”
In addition, for those who have more running experience under their sneakers, club member and Ironman athlete, Rob Allen, is organizing Personal Best Clinics for the 5K, 10K and half-marathon distances this year. These programs will feature Wednesday evening tempo/speed training beginning Feb. 20 at the Cornwall Civic Complex.
Allen’s training is a continuation of the inaugural Personal Best program for the 5K and 10K which was initiated in 2012. This year’s program also leads up to the Run to End MS event in April, with the half marathon allowing a building either towards the Cornwall event or the Ottawa Race Weekend half-marathon.
For more information and to register for any of these programs, please visit http://www.cornwallmultisportclub.com/registration.shtml.
“It really is a great way to enjoy the summer and make some new friends.”
“While our club is home to a number of stellar athletes who’ve participated in renowned events such as the Boston Marathon or various Ironman competitions,” said Croney, “our prime goal is to help encourage people to become more physically active while enjoying themselves.
“Our mandate is to have fun, make new friends who share common interests and motivate each other to do well.”
Tanya Deeks, six-time Ironman finisher and community coach, will also be hosting a Women’s Triathlon Clinic on June 16 at General Vanier School. The day-long clinic is open to new and seasonal female club members at no charge.
“We’re always trying to incorporate something new to keep our members happy,” said Croney. “This year, for instance, we organized a Family Day Run back in February, and our new CMC Kids of Steel aims to encourage youth to become more physically active through the triathlon sports of swimming, cycling and running.
“We welcome all levels of physical ability and aim to foster an encouraging, supportive atmosphere.”
There are also numerous training opportunities for club members wanting to improve their personal efforts. Come the end of April, Monday night duathlons will be held in St. Andrew’s West, and once the St. Lawrence River warms up, there are Friday night open water swims. Tuesday and Thursday night runs are held from the Aquatic Centre throughout the year, as are Sunday long runs from St. Lawrence College.
Members also receive a weekly club newsletter, sponsor discounts and are eligible for year-end awards.
CMC registration is $40 for individuals, and $80 for a family. To register, visit http://cornwallmultisportclub.com/registration.shtml
“The Cornwall Multisport Club is an amazing group of people of all ages. They love to be active, encourage and support newcomers, and have a blast while doing it. I’d encourage anyone interested in learning more to contact us,” Croney said.