ObieRun Facilitates Low-Key Fitness

Molly Bloom

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“Are you an amateur runner? Are you hoping to train for a 5k, 10k, half-marathon or a full marathon? Are you planning to run in the Cleveland Marathon event? Are you a fast runner? Slow runner? Are you just beginning to run? Are you hoping to find a group of Obies to run with?”

These questions address visitors to the website of ObieRun, a new student organization aimed at forming an all-encompassing community for runners at Oberlin. Students who join can sign up for runs on the group’s calendar, joining fellow Obies for a distance workout. Whether you are trying to train for a longer competition or just hoping to have fun with friends through exercise, ObieRun is a way there. “It is a good way to stay in shape,” said co-founder Julie Christensen, a junior pre-med Anthropology major. “And we want to build a community around running.”

Christensen, recently came together with sophomores Rachel Adler, Kaitlyn Custer and Elizabeth Kuhr and senior Jackie Mostow to set up ObieRun.

The idea behind ObieRun is to use a support system in order to help achieve fitness goals and beat the boredom of running alone. After training and running a half-marathon last October with fellow Obies, Adler realized how important companions are.

“It was a lot easier to train when you had people to run with and a structure,” she said. “The encouragement helps people get outside and keep going when they want to take a break.” ObieRun’s idea is to provide the moral support of a team, but with a more relaxed structure.

People advertise their runs on the website by listing the mileage and pace, which is helpful for finding running mates. “Anyone can create or join a run, and there are a lot of low-mileage runs set up,” Adler said.

But why running? Other small clubs or one-credit classes offered by the Athletics department exist for people who are just looking to exercise with others. “Running is the simplest way to stay in shape,” said Adler. “There is something about getting out there and being able to turn your brain off and listen to your body.”

“With running, you can focus on a goal that is much closer than say, your future career,” said Christensen. Adler added, “It is easy to improve with running. It is easy to beat your [own] record.”

About 20 people showed up for the general interest meeting on Feb. 27, and the club website is already up. Students can easily contact the group and see the calendar displaying runs. “It doesn’t take a lot [at Oberlin] for students to start up a group and get people involved,” said Christensen.

ObieRun provides an opportunity for students to have fun, stay in shape, train for a race or just spend time outside. Check it out online at sites.google.com/a/oberlin.edu/obierun/.

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