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Shelby Roadrunners provide exercise accountability

By MARSHA APSLEY - For The Shelbyville News

It’s Saturday morning, a little before 7:30 a.m. on the Public Square in downtown Shelbyville, and people are starting to gather by the fountain.

This happens every single Saturday of the year ... without fail. This is where the Shelby Roadrunners meet for their Saturday morning training run. Sometimes there are as few as three or four and other times there are close to 20. There’s never no one.

The Shelby Roadrunners meet three times a week, two evenings and Saturday morning. The evening locations change on April 1 and again on October 1. Saturday remains the same. The route changes but not the meeting location.

This group has been meeting since 2004. Why has it survived so long? Simply put: accountability.

The group has seen runners come and go over the years. There is a handful who started the group in 2004 and still attend. But overall, what has kept the group intact is the community that’s been created among them.

When people gather with common goals, they stick together. They are encouraged and inspired by one another.

In this case, the members come together because they want to pursue healthy living. Some have races they are training for while others simply want to keep moving.

Most people know the physical benefits of running and walking: strong heart, healthy weight, flexibility, lower risk factors related to many diseases. But running and walking also have an impact on our emotional well-being.

Back to the group. People have a sense of belonging when they know they’ll be meeting regularly with others to exercise. Oftentimes running and walking take place outside. (In the case of Shelby Roadrunners, it ALWAYS does ... wind, snow, rain, sleet, hail ... kind of like the mail. Nothing stops them!) Simply being in nature lowers stress and related cortisol levels in the body.

If you’re looking for some accountability on your healthy living journey, consider taking advantage of one of the following opportunities. All fitness levels welcome. Give it a try and see how you like it.

Beginning April 1, Shelby Roadrunners will be meeting on the Public Square at 5 p.m. on Mondays, at Clearwick Park at 5 p.m. on Wednesdays, and back on the Public Square at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday mornings. For more information, contact Marsha Apsley at marsha.apsley@comcast.net.

Walking Wednesdays begin on April 3. There are two options available every Wednesday: 8:30 a.m. at The Bookmark on the Public Square led by Mary Ann Lux and noon at Major Health Partners, Entrance 2. The first Wednesday of the month the walk at MHP will be led by Dr. Howard.