Every Thursday runners of all ages and abilities participate in Fleet Feet’s “Fun Run and Walk” in the Kentlands for exercise, advice, and to make friends.
Over 30 people went on the group run on Thursday which is broken into different pace groups that run anywhere from 3 – 6 miles.
What seems just as important as the exercise to the runners are the friendships formed and the support from those in the group.
“I didn’t realize how much I was missing out on group running,” said Tim Plakas, 24, of Gaithersburg, who started doing the fun run a year ago.
Plakas began running over two years ago by himself but now values the motivation running in a group provides.
Brian Sandusky, 38, of Gaithersburg, started running four months ago and has become friends with many of the fellow Thursday runners.
“It’s always strange when you walk into a new situation and don’t know anyone,” Sandusky said. “But you see the same people over and over and get to talking.”
The fun run has no plotted course and groups are created based on skill and speed which run from 30 – 40 minutes.
“I want them to keep running and have a good time,” said Robyn Gault who owns the with her husband Chris Gault.
Maggie Bartlett, 56, of Boyds, comes out “for a little bit of exercise and fun. That’s why it’s called the ‘fun run.’”
Fleet Feet tries to do something special each month, and on Thursday a representative from adidas had shoes fun runners could try-out.
Bartlett ran in a pair and liked the ability to actually try-out the shoes on a run as opposed to just walking inside a store.
Fleet Feet also provides food and beverages after a run.
“People look forward to beer and pizza,” said Jack Edwards, 57, of Clarksburg, who has participated in the fun run since it began six years ago.
The “Fun Run and Walk” meets every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday mornings at 9:30 in front of the Fleet Feet in the Kentlands.