HUNTSVILLE - There’s a new club in town, one that is dedicated to healthy living through running. The club is open to runners in, or entering, youth in Grade 9 or older of all abilities. It is called the Muskoka Algonquin Runners.
To find out more about the Muskoka Algonquin Runners or life on MARS, come out Tuesday, March 19 from 7 to 9 p.m., to the Active Living Centre, at the back of the Canada Summit Centre.
The meeting will be a general information meeting as well as an opportunity to join the club for those interested.
The club welcomes runners of all abilities, including both purely recreational runners and those who wish to compete. The club has a website www.muskokaalgonquinrunners.com as well as a Facebook page. All membership details are available at the website.
For most runners they will simply need the basic membership. In our first year, this fee will be at the member rate of $20. This allows members to run with the club anytime and includes liability protection through Athletics Ontario.
Let us tell you how life on MARS began. Several adults in our community have had the privilege of coaching some fine young teenagers on the Huntsville High School cross-country team. We have been amazed at the dedication and capacity of these young runners.
They want to be successful and it is hard to say no to them. For some, success is simply getting in shape, and for others it’s winning. The cross-country season is so short that it’s almost over before it has begun.
The kids are aware of a phrase we use: “cross-country running is a summer sport played in the fall,” meaning your best chances of success occur if you arrive in the fall in good shape.
A few years back we started offering informal and optional runs for kids beginning in August. As these became more popular, and as parents and other adults joined in, we realized there was an opportunity to have a running club in Muskoka, allowing access to organized running year-round and not just for eight weeks in the fall.
This summer, the newly formed club will take 12 of its high school runners to Vermont to participate in a high school cross-country running camp at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center.
This camp is coached by Olympic 10,000 metre bronze medalist and three-time world champion Lynn Jennings. This incredible opportunity is available to only 30 teens in North America so we feel fortunate to be able to provide this experience for these runners.
In addition, the club will provide opportunities for adults who wish to race representing our club at both local races and in the Breslin Cup, a masters’ cross-country four race series this fall.
Muskoka offers a great and diverse running community year-round. We have been very fortunate to meet so many great people through running as well as participate in so many great local races.
At last count there were over a dozen running events in the region. We welcome both social runners and those wanting to compete in races.
The club has plans to begin offering organized runs this spring and hopes to offer four days of weekday running per week this summer (split between early morning and after work), on a drop-in basis.
Details will follow at our website. Runners of all ages and abilities will be welcome as long as they join the club (and thus are covered by our insurance policy).
Please join us for our MARS landing at the Active Living Centre.