By Cesario Tio
When I started taking exercise seriously, I was grateful to find a few people in my neighborhood that were willing to join me in front of the TV for a DVD workout. From then on, I never had to go at it alone. Then, when I heard through a neighborhood newsgroup that someone wanted a running partner to train for a half marathon, I said yes to that, too. That’s when I discovered the Larchmont Village Run Club.
Marc Cataldo, Starbuck’s manager, started the group in 2009, holding weekly raffles for the participants, having water readily available at every gathering, and giving runners a place to store personal belongings. But after he was relocated to Brentwood, the next managers weren’t as enthusiastic about the idea. Runners still met on a weekly basis, but participation fell off as the free coffee prizes disappeared. Members moved, had children, and the group dissipated last year.
I wanted to see this group together again. I learned so much from the more experienced runners. Not only was I getting regular exercise and improving my health, I had mentors that answered my questions about running and racing. I did my first half marathon in 2010 and my first marathon in 2013. Along the way, I brought down my blood pressure, lost weight, and started enjoying life the way I hadn’t in a long time. Running is still a regular part of my weekly routine but I remembered how much more fun it was running with buddies. That’s why I started a new group: Larchmont Runners is alive and kicking.
Meeting in front of the Larchmont Starbucks on Wednesday evenings at 6 p.m., participants can join each other for a brisk walk or run through Hancock Park. There are great routes to choose from, designed for distance and time. Runners of all experience levels are welcome and encouraged to participate. This group is here for everyone, especially beginners. Bring a buddy and come out and enjoy the beautiful fall weather. Feel free to email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org