The North Shore YMCA is no stranger to the local running scene, having presented its annual road race series since 2006. But now the Y is going a step further by starting its own running club out of the Salem branch.
The North Shore YMCA Navigators running club launched last week with the goal of providing organized runs for Y members.
“This program has been designed to meet the needs of members who are runners, however it is also open to the community at large,” said Charity Lezama, aquatics director at the Salem YMCA, who created the club. “We have many members who are runners and cross train at our facility. This club provides them the opportunity to network with one another using the Y as their home for fitness.”
Registration opened on Sept. 17 and as of Tuesday, the group already had 20 members enrolled, said Lezama.
“We have a wide variety of scheduled weekly runs lead by volunteers, including beginner, intermediate, advanced, trail runs, and strength training,” she said. “We currently have 12 scheduled weekly runs offered at different times of the day: early morning, late morning, evening and weekend. The annual membership is $20 for members and $30 for non-members.”
The Navigators club plans to fit in with the current running scene, Lezama said. “The YNS Navigators is not in competition with other local running clubs,” she added. “As always, the Y exists to support individuals and help them meet their fitness goals. We support swimmers with swim teams and classes and now we can support those who prefer running as well.”
The club is currently running from the Salem Y, but will expand as the program grows, said Lezama.
Cynthia Johnson is serving as team captain for the Navigators.
“I’m the team leader,” she said. “I have a strong relationship with the folks at the Y. They have been very supportive of me and my family. They always encourage my kids to do their best—and even taught me how to swim earlier this year.”