Why? Cleveland’s Running Community!

***A bit of blogkeeping: While I’m soaking up the sun on vacation, I’ve asked some great Cleveland blogger pals to guest post for me. First up is Julie from Am I There Yet? I can’t get enough of Julie’s humor, great disposition, and awesome dedication. Enjoy her guest post and check out her blog for even more great stuff!***

Hi WhyCle readers! My name is Julie and I blog over at Am I There Yet. Many thanks to Jen for letting me post for her while she is soaking up some sun on vacation!

When my love for running (love, obsession, whatever) began, I pretty much went it alone. Tackling my first ever 5k as part of a weight loss program spurred a need to run more and more races. I wanted to increase my distance and speed and collect as many t-shirt as possible. Then I trained for my first half marathon and got a medal. All of a sudden t-shirts meant nothing and I craved that bling.

Seems weird, I get it. Maybe it’s intriguing? Maybe a medal, like for me, is something that motivates you. Holding that shiny piece of success in your hand knowing you accomplished something great, it’s amazing feeling. And it is certainly not a feeling you have to have alone.

Cleveland has an amazing community of runners. So why don’t you join in?

Beginning on April 20th, when the morning temps are still crisp, runners will convene at the Harriet Keeler Memorial Picnic area in the Brecksville Reservation of the Cleveland Metro parks for day one of Northeast Ohio Fit.

NEO FIt sign

Lovingly known as NEO Fit, this Cleveland-area running club is a group of runners of all ages, distances, and abilities. Growing in numbers every year, NEO Fit helps runners, new and seasoned, reach their running goals. Whether you want to run a half marathon or the 26.2 monster, this group will give you the support you need.

On day one with NEO Fit, the group will set out for a short timed run to help find your pace. This is not a race, but a tool to help place in you a color group with similar paced runners. I was in the red group for 2 years, a group for runners with a pace of a 10:30 or slower (I was way slower that 10:30 let me tell you). I am looking forward to running in the yellow group this year.

NEO Fit runners

NEO Fit offers an easy to follow training plan, no writing your own plan or surfing the net for the plan that suits you best. NEO Fit’s certified coaches take care of that for you. On long run Saturday’s, no more finding your own route and calculating miles, NEO Fit coaches take care of that for you, too.

Lee Ann and NEO Fit

Each weekend meet-up has a seminar to help educate you and inspire you. At these seminars you will hear from experts on topics like hydration, stretching, fueling for a long run, and injury prevention. A track meet up is offered on Tuesday nights for those looking to increase their speed and spend more time in the group.

In addition to these motivating program staples, being part of NEO Fit has it’s perks. In 2010 NEO Fit partnered with Vertical Runner to create a supportive running community for all abilities, this includes seminars at the store as well as a discount on merchandise for being a member during the regular season. Being part of NEO Fit also gets you discounts into many Cleveland area races, namely the groups target race, the Akron Marathon.

This will be my 3rd summer with NEO Fit and I have maintained friendships with other members during that time and all year long. If you are looking to train for a race this summer, come on out and join us. For more information and registration, head over to www.neohiofit.com.

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