By Joakim Roth, Chattanooga, TN –Try taking a drive from campus to North Shore without seeing a car with a sticker showing 13.1; that is
right, you can not.
If unfamiliar with what this means, it represents the number of miles in a half marathon. Long distance running is becoming more and more popular in the U.S. and it is finding a foot hold at UTC.
Last year a group of students started the UTC Running Club/the half marathon club. The club meets twice a week for group runs and though people train for 5k’s and 10k’s, the main training goal of the club is to race a half marathon every semester.
The club has participated in the Chickamauga Battlefield Half Marathon and the Tom King Classic Half Marathon.
Stephanie Windle, a senior from Knoxville, is the president of the running club. She said the club started out of an interest in full marathons and 5ks.
“I really wanted to start the club because of the enjoyment of running and training with others,” Windle said.
Some of the benefits of the running club for Windle are the healthy life style running promotes as well as group runs.
The twice weekly group runs start from Heritage Plaza and goes down the Riverwalk. The runs are about 45 minutes and usually are a moderate pace.
There are other meetings where people get together to talk about training and running as well as tips from The Chattanooga Track Club.
“We also put on and participate in social events that deal with running. The other day we had an Orthopedic Surgeon come to our club meeting. He talked about injury prevention and recovery,” Windle said.
Ashlee Swafford, a junior from Cleveland, Tenn., looks forward to cooler temperatures. She said she also enjoys meeting new people through the running club. She said the club helps her stay in shape as well as gives her great information on nutrition and injury prevention.
“Running is a great way to stay in shape and with the running club you get the added benefit of community and accountability,” Swafford said.
You do not have to be the most experienced or intense runner to join the club, said Swafford.
“The club is honestly a place for anyone that has been running or wants to start running,” Swafford said. “We have runners that are just beginning and runners that have been doing it for a while.”
Melissa Miller, a sophomore from Fairview, Tenn., described her interest in the running club as a means of staying in shape.
“The Running Club is great for me, because of the scheduled runs. The members that run are supportive and fun, so it makes running enjoyable,” Miller said.