OTTAWA — A weekly running club in Ottawa allows participants to develop friendships and provide accountability for those who want to be physically active and reach their fitness goals.
Ottawa-Glandorf Run Club has been in existence since 2016 and was started by members Sue Hohenbrink and Lisa Salsburey. It’s based off of the Delphos Run Club.
“We loved what they were doing, and I thought we could do the same thing in Putnam County,” Hohenbrink said.
Hohenbrink and Salsburey met with Car-E-It Party Shop owners Adam and Kevin Bellman, who agreed to allow the club to meet prior to runs at the business.
Hohenbrink said by participating in the club, she lost more than 80 pounds in 2015.
The club’s motto is “Passion To Move, Compassion To Help” and meets at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays May through October at the Car-E-It Party Shop patio, 1206 E. Main St., Ottawa. There are door prizes each week sponsored by 12 local businesses, and the sponsors help pay for the club’s T-shirts and all door prizes.
The weekly financial donations runners provide all go to charities. Each week before their run members are informed on area runs they can compete in.
The course is a 5K (3.1 miles) and begins and ends at the Car-E-It Party Shop. Those who attend can go a shorter or longer route depending on their needs. The runs are not timed, but people can individually time themselves if they wish. The club is for all ages, and there is everything from young couples with strollers and dogs to grade schoolers running with parents to junior high athletes and cross country teams and some walking the course.
There are no dues for the club, and participants are asked for a voluntary donation that goes to a local charity of the month. There has been $7,704 raised so far in three years by the club members, Hohenbrink said.
Sergio Villasana, 27, of Leipsic, has been a member of the group since it started. It helped him prepare for runs he competes in. He said running is a way for him to relieve stress and have time for himself.
“I love this group because it gives you an opportunity to get moving every week and make friends,” Villasana said. He has done 5Ks, 10Ks, a half marathon and even a 26.2-mile marathon in New York last year.
Laura Stringfield, 27, of Columbus Grove, has been a member since 2017 and learned about the group on Facebook.
She is a massage therapist and competed in her first half-marathon in Columbus in October. She said the running club helped her train for the marathon.
“Running helps with any aspect of life, like stress or if you want to stay active, and has allowed me to meet new people,” Stringfield said.
She said the club holds everyone accountable. She said she was inspired by the female runners in the club who complete marathons and go home to raise families and have careers.
The club is always accepting new members. Those interested can visit the Facebook page Ottawa-Glandorf Run Club for more information.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.