Sports

Runners make resolutions as new season underway

So we’re off and running into another new year, with the members of Nanaimo’s Bastion Running Club certainly setting a good example.

The holiday season tends to bring with it an excess of food, beverages and relaxing inactivity. Which is fine to a point, but it’s bad news for those wanting to lose weight or begin a more active lifestyle. Adding to the problem is the cold weather at this time of year, which makes staying comfortably inside with a snack and hot drink all the more appealing.

To combat that, some take out memberships in fitness gyms. Others take advantage of the many fitness programs and equipment offered through the City of Nanaimo’s parks, recreation and culture department. And others choose to lace on running shoes and get into an aerobic exercise program. Which is where the Bastion club comes in.

The Bastion Running Club was formed by a small group of avid runners back in 1981. In the years since then it has grown in size, but has remained true to its mission to be “a running club that supports a social atmosphere and provides both competitive and recreational running activities within the community.”

President of the Bastion club for the coming year is Mike Thibodeau, who takes over from Patrick Ross. Byron Trajan is the vice-president, with Cheryl Davies the treasurer and Rose Houle the club secretary. Other directors include Stacy Wallington in charge of membership, Carene Booth as social chair and Ross Palfery who looks after communications.

New members are always welcome to join the club, be they competitive or recreational runners. Cost for membership is $10 for an individual or $15 for a family. That small fee grants access to the club’s many social functions as well as information and support for taking part in running events throughout the year. The club newsletter also gives information on other fitness opportunities such as clinics for runners and other activities such as swimming, cycling, yoga and pilates.

Bastion runners are invited to take part in weekly Saturday morning social runs at Westwood Lake, encompassing a variety of distances and running paces. Another training opportunity for club members is the Wednesday evening track workouts which got underway this past week. Runners meet at Rotary Bowl stadium for various workout routines that usually last 40-50 minutes. There is no fee and any club member is welcome to drop by and take part any week they wish.

Competitive runners have opportunities to train and race with the help of expert coaching from experienced club members. The Bastion Club is well-represented each year in the Frontrunner’s Island Race Series, a set of races held during the months of January through April at various Island locations. The first race in this year’s Island Series will be the Pioneer 8K to be held in Saanich on Sunday (Jan. 13). The Bastion club hosts the third race in the Series, with club volunteers already busy with plans to hold the Cedar 12K race Feb. 10.

More information on the Bastion Running Club, as well as membership application forms, is available on the club website at www.bastionrunning.ca.

Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.

Ian Thorpe writes about sports Saturdays.

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