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Running as a group helps members deal with stress, isolation of pandemic

By Patrick Newhook/January 13, 2022

Every morning, when many people are trying to get their last few minutes of sleep, a group of dedicated runners assemble in Bay Roberts to start their morning run.

The Klondike Runners, named after a bridge on which they meet, consists of a group of friends. Active since 2016, it initially started with one member. It’s now increased to a core group of around 10, who meet at 6:30 a.m. each morning.

Angela Norman joined the group in 2018. She has long been an active runner and wanted to try something new.

“This is my fourth year running with them,” said Norman. “Now I always ran myself. I started running when I was 18 just on the treadmill. My distances got longer and that’s not really fun on a treadmill, so I started hitting the road and doing road running,”

The group runs 365 days a year but not every member runs every day.

“We all kind of say, ‘Who’s running tomorrow?’ Some of us will show up, some of us can’t,” said Norman. “Usually, four to five times a week, we meet as a group.”

The members set monthly and yearly running goals. Recently they celebrated their five-year anniversary.

“We actually have kilometer goals and every year we do something different, or we do some different type of challenge,” said Norman “A lot of us try to get the year done so in the year 2020 we were trying to get 2020 kms in.”

The group has also taken on virtual challenges.

“We did a virtual race where we raced across Newfoundland. We had 195 days to run the 905 km across Newfoundland,” said Norman. “We didn’t actually run by foot on the Trans-Canada Highway, but we ran the virtual equal distance. That was last summer. This summer we ran the Big Land.”

For Norman, like most of the group, she runs because it promotes a healthy lifestyle.

“For me, it’s my time. That’s my hour to myself. We chat along the way, it gets us our exercise in,” said Norman. “For our mental health that’s why we mainly do it.”

It also helps deal with the stress and isolation of the pandemic. When social distancing restrictions were increased, one of their greatest fears was that they would not be allowed to run together, but they’ve been able to continue despite COVID-19.

For Norman, the group helps motivate her.

“It’s the personal drive to push yourself that little bit further and that feeling you get when you’ve accomplished another goal,” said Norman.

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