No Pace Like Grayslake
The Grayslake Running Club welcomes people from all over into their inclusive running environment.
They come from all over Grayslake, Round Lake Park, Ingleside and others. They are teachers, actuaries, managers, moms and dads. They wear shirts that say: No Pace Like Grayslake.
They are members of the Grayslake Running Club (GRC). The club was founded in 2005 by Lupe Gallardo-Kathrens. She has participated in 5k’s, 10k’s, half-marathons and, in 2007, the Chicago Marathon. She is currently training for her fourth Boston Marathon.
For years, Gallardo-Kathrens had been watching people run all over the streets of Grayslake. She began wishing she had a group of runners to exercise with. It was a tragedy that urged Gallardo-Kathrens to turn her idea into reality.
“One summer, a runner was brutally raped in a nearby trail,” Gallardo-Kathrens said. “It was shortly after that tragic news that I became passionate about forming a running club. I realized there was no need for anyone to run alone. The rape victim became my inspiration.”
Gallardo-Kathrens developed her idea, proposed it to the mayor and the board, and the village soon welcomed the Grayslake Running Club.
GRC currently has 116 members who fall into many different levels of runners. They run at all times of year all over Grayslake. The club promotes physical and mental well-being, safe running, friendships through running, a schedule-friendly networking system, and an improved quality of life for the community.
Barb Butler of Round Lake Park has only been running with the club since she found its page on Facebook six months ago.
“I love running with others for the company,” Butler said. “Long runs are the best to run with others to keep you going and have a partner who keeps you in check while you do the same for your partner.”
The vice president of the club, Terry Knull, has lived with his wife and two sons in Grayslake for a little over 10 years. Knull began running in high school but had to take some time off for medical reasons. In 2009, he was able to begin running again and he found GRC in 2010.
“I've learned about nutrition, hydration, the importance of different running workouts (intervals, tempo runs, pace runs, long runs, recovery runs, etc.), the importance of proper footwear, how to dress appropriately for the weather, how to create a training plan to achieve the racing goals I set for myself and the list goes on and on,” Knull said.
While the thought of running throughout a bitter Grayslake winter may be daunting, GRC holds clinics about different topics on running, some just to prepare members for winter running. Other topics include self-defense, safety, injuries and apparel.
“My favorite part of running is the sense of accomplishment I get when I have achieved my goal,” said Rosanne Huber. She has developed friendships in the group and now sees that running and training doesn’t have to be merely about the work.
“Training can be fun, especially when done with a group,” Huber said. “We all encourage each other. Running with others is so much easier. The conversation we have during our runs are great. The time and miles go by so much faster. That is what makes it so much fun.”
Jobi Ledger of Ingleside has been with the club since 2006. She began running seriously after her daughter was born. From her first visit to GRC, Ledger was struck by the welcoming atmosphere.
“The club is extremely inclusive and caters to the novice as well as the Ironman,” she said. “Not one person has yet to make me feel like I don't belong because I'm not the fastest and can't (or won't) run the furthest.”
Of course, the Grayslake Running Club can be found running all over the town and beyond.
“I personally enjoy running in Grayslake because I like the small-town type aspect to it,” Ledger said. “Pleasant residential streets, parks and Rollins Savanna in close proximity make a happy runner.”
Knull offered some advice to beginning runner. “I would say ‘stick with it and don't get discouraged.’ It takes some time to build up endurance and to get to the point where you can really start to work on speed. Take it slowly at first and don't push too hard or injuries are likely to happen. It really requires some patience to build up that base that you need for the longer distance running. Don't be afraid to alternate running and walking when you're first starting out.”