If there’s one thing the Mid-Michigan Track Club has proven it is that running is very much alive and well in the Greater Lansing area. This year marks the club’s 50th anniversary.
The club formed in 1968 when a group of MSU graduate students came together because they wanted to keep training and have some races. All had been high school and/or college athletes, but now were beyond the college team age. Then an MSU group of students decided to meet each Saturday and have friendly races at varying distances.
Members Bill Keller, Gordon Schafer and Jim Carter were part of the original group who decided they wanted to compete as a club in races like the Boston Marathon, among many others.
Since that time, the group has met weekly to share their love of running with anyone who wants to show up and improve their running skills. The workouts/races are low key; however, they are always timed and accurate distances.
There is competition from runner to runner and friend to friend. There’s no cost to participate (annual dues of $3 is voluntary) and skill levels vary, according to Schafer, who is the club’s facilitator.
“We have commented together that we would never have thought, when we started, about doing this every week for a lifetime,” Schafer said. “But, here we are. We’re still doing it in some form and passing on the torch to other runners. We have watched hundreds over the years change from jogger to competitive runner and people in the crowd turn from weekend racers to standing on the age group winner’s stands.”
According to Carter, who helps Schafer with his duties, there are no special plans for the anniversary, yet. The club is busy with training and running. He said that, if you’re curious about becoming a better runner or would like to try the club, come out to an event. “It’s a great chance for someone to explore their running potential with the support of like-minded runners,” he said.
Schafer agreed. “If our very loose format meets your needs, keep coming,” he said of potential members. “You will find other runners like you and will be encouraged by all the runners here.
Want to learn more? Email Gnschafer@aol.com. (identify on subject line runner, etc.)