If you’ve been walking along Nakusp’s waterfront recently you may have noticed a lot more runners jogging past the gardens along the lake.
This recent surge has been boosted by two weekly clinics run by Kari Tithecott. For those just starting out, there is a five kilometre group, and ten kilometre group for those who feel they need to go a bit further.
The groups began as training for the Mother’s Day run in May of this year, which was a great success in Nakusp.
“The Nakusp Spring 5K Run (Mother’s Day) was born as a result of my wanting to give the clinic members the experience of crossing a finish line after all their hard work,” Tithecott told me.
Many women enjoyed training during the ten weeks leading up to the run, and wanted to keep going.
Meeting in the Nakusp Arena parking lot last Thursday morning, there was a chill of autumn in the air, but that didn’t discourage the eleven women who collected there.
Many of them were new moms, and at one point there had been five or six strollers making the rounds with the pack as they ran around town. It was a great way for the women to get back into exercise after having a baby.
Now, most of the kids have babysitters, freeing up the moms to grapple with challenges like hill training.
It’s a lot easier to run uphill when you’ve got other people to get you moving, Tithecott told me.
Originally she had been a leader for groups run out of True North, a running shop on the North Shore of Vancouver.
After moving to Nakusp with her husband Paul, a local RCMP officer, she decided to start a running group up again.
Each week, the group receives a program outlining how long, how far and how often they need to go in order to reach their training goal.
Every program also includes a tip of the week about clothing, nutrition or health that helps the runners along in their training too.
The groups are growing, with about 40 women between the two groups.
“The groups are non exclusive,” Tithecott said, “To date all members have been women, but we are always interested in enlisting more runners … female and male.”
Although new mothers are part of the group, they aren’t all, and ages range from 12 to 76.
Jean Lancaster wasn’t at the running group this morning because she was competing in the five kilometer speed walk and ten kilometer run at the West Kootenay Seniors Games.
The runners are all shapes and sizes.
“We all jiggle together,” one woman said, and the others giggle in agreement.
After a brief warm-up, the women are off, running their eight-kilometer jaunt into health.
Claire Paradis, Associate Editor, Arrow Lakes News