Running Group Challenge!
iRunNation, we challenged you to tell us why your Running Group was the best in the country and we promised to share our favourite stories. Congratulations to The Island Girls, our number 1 Running Group.
What started as a 10-week learn to run 5K program in Kensington, P.E.I. quickly became The Island Girls Running Group, thanks to Lynn Anne Hogan and Ronda Bellefontaine who began sharing their new love of running with members of their community in 2007. The Island Girls trained and ran in many PEI Roadrunner 5K and 10K events but it was during a trip to Halifax, NS to run the 10K at the Bluenose Marathon in 2009 that the girls decided to set a new goal: to run the half marathon during the 2009 PEI Marathon weekend.
“I could not have achieved my running success without the support of the Island Girls. I never considered myself athletic, so the feeling I had when I crossed the finish line at the half marathon was really indescribable. If it wasn’t for this group, I would not be running today. I joined the program to get some exercise but I have found a group of fun, supportive, encouraging women,” says Shelly Saulier who has completed numerous 5K, 10K and half marathon events.
It’s an amazing feeling when you realize that you’ve layed a part in helping others lead a more active and healthy life. In 2010-2011, we not only added five new members to our Club but we have also seen an increase in the number of husbands taking up the sport. We all love inspiring people to start running by telling them that we started by walking three minutes and running 30 seconds, and that they can too. Not only has the group been learning to run together for almost four years, we have also organized and delivered the Halloween Hustle 5K Fun Run held each year in Kensington for the past four years, an event that raises funds for local charities and attracts many new runners and walkers, including many families.
2010-11 was a very busy year for the Island Girls. Many secured PBs in 5K and 10K Roadrunner events. Others completed their first half marathon and four Island Girls completed their first full marathons right here in PEI. We are very proud of our accomplishments. Four years ago we would never have thought that we could run more than 5K and look at us now. We enjoy supporting not only each other but also other new runners that we meet during the many PEI Roadrunner events that we participate in. This is exactly the outcome that Lynn Anne and Ronda were hoping for when they brought their love of running to the town of Kensington.