SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

September 27, 2012

On the Run: North Shore YMCA starts running club

On The Run
Jay Kumar

---- — 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.”

Johnson didn’t hesitate to jump in. “When I was approached to help them, it didn’t take me long to make up my mind. The Y is family,” she said. “I’m happy to give back by sharing my love for running. I will help by scheduling team runs, leading some runs and supporting club members as they work towards their fitness goals.”

The club has already set up a calendar with different types of runs led by Lezama, Johnson and other volunteers. The runs include beginner (1.5 to three miles at a gentle pace), intermediate (three to seven miles at a moderate pace) and advanced (seven-plus miles at a challenging pace). All runs start in the lobby of the Salem Y. Visit www.northshoreymca.org/pages/18922_running_club.cfm for more information.

Starts and stops

The third annual Rotary Run the Heater 5K Run/Walk takes place on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 8:30 a.m. on Singing Beach in Manchester-by-the-Sea. Proceeds benefit the Manchester Parks and Recreation Scholarship Fund and causes supported by the Manchester-Essex Rotary Club. Visit http://manchester-essexrotary.org/run-the-heater-5k-2012/ for more information.

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All five of Beverly’s elementary schools benefit from the upcoming third annual Fall Frolic 5K, which takes places on Sunday, Oct. 14 at Lynch Park in Beverly. The fun run starts at 9 a.m. and the 5K at 9:30 p.m. along the same route as the Beverly Homecoming 5K. The first 200 5K registrants receive shirts and awards are given to the top male and female finishers and medals to the top three in each age group. Visit www.fallfrolic5k.com/ for more information and to register online.

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On the Run is a biweekly column about the North Shore running scene. Send any questions, comments, or news to jay.kumar@gmail.com.

Upcoming racesSaturday, Sept. 29: Freedom 5K, United Methodist Church, 391 Bay Road, South Hamilton, 10 a.m. The race aims to raise awareness of domestic sex trafficking. Contact: Bonnie Gatchell (Route One Ministry) at 1-978-930-3136 or routeoneministry@gmail.com.; Gold Star Run for Honor-SPC. Jared Raymond, Swampscott, 9 a.m. 3rd Annual 5k/10k road race. Awards, tech shirts, chip timing in Swampscott. Contact: Ashley Steeves (BNS EVENT MANAGEMENT) at 1-978-836-0271 or bnsfitnessevents@yahoo.com; Rowley Poker 5 Mile race, Rowley VFW, Bradford St., Rowley, 9 a.m. Contact: Gerry Beauchamp (Ipswich YMCA) at 1-978-356-9622 x109 or beauchampg@northshoreymca.org.; TOP 5K/10K, Rockport High School, 24 Jerdens Lane, Rockport, 8 a.m. Includes a fun run, scenic USATF certified course, wheelchair division, awards. Contact: Tricia Scott (Triumph Over Pain) at 1-214-724-7572 or nscot7@sbcglobal.net.Sunday, Sept. 30: Hoof It for Habitat 5K, Good Harbor Beach, Thatcher Road, Gloucester, MA 9:30 a.m. Includes a one-mile walk, beautiful oceanside course, prizes and raffles. Contact: Jeannette McGinn (Habitat for Humanity North Shore) at jeannettemcginn@comcast.net.Wednesday, Oct. 3: Danvers 5K Fun Run, Sweet William's Garden Center, 141 Pine St., Danvers, 7 p.m. Free, timed run. All welcome. These events are part of a weekly 52-race series. E-mail adam@danvers5k.com.Thursday, Oct. 4: No Rest for the Wicked Weekly 5K-ish, Salem Common, Salem, 6:45 p.m. Free 3.2-mile run. Contact info@wickedrunningclub.com. Wednesday, Oct. 10: Danvers 5K Fun Run, Sweet William's Garden Center, 141 Pine St., Danvers, 7 p.m. Free, timed run. All welcome. These events are part of a weekly 52-race series. E-mail adam@danvers5k.com.Thursday, Oct. 11: No Rest for the Wicked Weekly 5K-ish, Salem Common, Salem, 6:45 p.m. Free 3.2-mile run. Contact info@wickedrunningclub.com. Visit www.northshoreroadraceguide.com/race-calendar for more race listings.