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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Meeting Runners at Fry's Electronics

Cedar Valley Running AssociationWhile waiting an hour and a half in line to buy a laptop at Fry's Electronics, I had the good fortune to meet out of towners Candy and Jeff Mullen. Who knew that by standing around I'd meet people who prefer moving forward quickly?

Candy is the president of the Cedar Valley Running Association based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Their group is much bigger than the Jim Spivey Running Club, serving a wider range of functions. It sounds something like the Glen Ellyn Runners Club based out here.

From the CVRA site:
The Cedar Valley Running Association was founded in 1982 to promote a healthy and enjoyable lifestyle through the sport of running. If you are interested in improving your current level of fitness and meeting the best looking and most interesting people in the Cedar Valley area, come run with us!

The CVRA sanctions six races per year, organizes various group training runs, hosts social events, distributes a newsletter and has a board meeting each month.

Club membership is open to all interested parties including walkers, joggers and non-competitive runners regardless of age, sex or athletic ability. With the membership fee you will receive the monthly newsletter, discounts on area races, and discounts from local merchants. You will also help keep the CVRA up and running. Costs are $15 for an individual, $20 for a household, and $25 for charitable members. Renewal statements are issued the month before expiration. If you want to improve your current level of fitness and have some fun doing it, contact any CVRA officer for more information.
Jeff's actually an in-towner from Downer's Grove, but has long since moved to Iowa. Like myself, he was a decent high school runner (much better than me, to be fair), and went on to excel as a miler at Coe College.

And, like me, he was out a few years between running when he was younger, and getting back into serious and speedy bipedalur motion in his 40s. For Jeff, it was weight loss. 40 pounds of useless fat. He started with some short, slow 20:00 jogs at lunchtime, and worked his way back into race fitness. It was no overnight process, and I'll bet he'll tell you it was not easy, but, today, you'd never think he was overweight.

He's gotten back into it pretty well, cranking out 5Ks in the 18s (for the record, that's well over three minutes faster than my current 5K PR), but, we both lamented that the juice in our legs in our younger years just isn't there.

Funny, huh, that someone should run for Coe? No relation, Jeff says, to the great Sebastian Coe, Baron Coe, former world record holder of the mile and just about every other distance.

It was a long wait, and a great conversation. I invited them both to join me in my weekly butt kicking this Thursday, but they will be back in Iowa. Maybe next time.

We talked about LetsRun.com, and Henry Rono's efforts to regain form. One thing that was new to Jeff was Athlinks.com. You'll find me there; I'm a big fan of this simple tool. Jeff, if you're reading this, I think these are your results, though there are a few Jeff Mullens from Iowa.

Athlinks.comAbout Athlinks.com (from their FAQ page):

Athlinks is both the largest and most complete results database for endurance races on the planet, and a fully-featured social network built specifically for the endurance athlete community.

We add well over one million results to the database each month from several thousand endurance races including running (road races, track and field, cross country), triathlon (any multi-sport), swimming, cycling (TTs and crits), mountain biking and more.

Athlinks is not just another place to park your blog. The community features are deeply integrated with and built on top of your race results. Track and communicate with training partners, club and team members, favorite vendors and more.

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