Students hope to go varsity
1/26/2006 11:13:38 AM
Lynchburg -- For Alex Aguirre, participating in a few half marathons this summer was just what she needed to wet her appetite for longer runs. The junior from Michigan is currently in training to run a full marathon in Charlottesville in April.
A soccer player at R-MWC, Alex appreciates the stress relieving factors of running.
“I like the endorphin rush you get afterwards,” Alex said. “It’s just a fun way of exercising.”
When she heard about the new running club on campus, she couldn’t have been more thrilled.
“When you meet in a group to run, it’s more fun,” she said. “You get support, and they keep you motivated.”
Alex is one of about 20 students signed up for the new club, which is also a half-credit semester-long class, led by Peter Sheldon, a physics professor and marathon runner.
Though not an official team, the students have been competing since August in road races throughout the area. And four times a week, you can find several of them walking, jogging or running the streets around the area. The typical daily route was about 6 miles, although students are encouraged to participate at their own distance and pace. This means some walk for the time period. Some walk and jog and some run.
The group was too late to compete in any college races, but plans to do so next year, Sheldon said. The students did compete against E.C. Glass High School’s team last semester and also participated in 5K road races about every other weekend. Sheldon hopes to eventually make the club a varsity team.
“There’s been a lot of interest from students, “ he said. “And we’ve done really well in the races. Every week, 2 or 3 students would get medals.”
More importantly, Sheldon was pleased to see improvements from the students at each race.
The club welcomes anyone who wants to enjoy the sport to join them for their workouts.
“You don’t have to be a runner,” said Alex. “You can be a walker or a jogger. We have people at all different levels. You are never going to be without someone to be with. It’s a cheap sport, and it’s a sport you can do for the rest of your life.”
CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations