About Van Run Club
We are a free run club that focuses on getting people outside and active. The intention of this group is to share our enthusiasm for running with others. Running doesn't have to be hard or strenuous. It should be about having fun and staying fit. However, if you choose to take it more seriously thats great too.
To promote this, we have free social runs where our focus is to move and meet people.
We also offer a range of ways to be join us, some free, some paid:
Social Easy Runs for all levels
Themed Runs and Events - Halloween, Run and Brunch, Run Brewery Tour and more
Month Run Challenges - Set a goal with the group for how far or how long you want to be active
Run Workouts - Interval Training, Speed Work to help you lower your race times
Run Workshops - Learn basic running form, running skills, stretching and cross training
Running can be fun and easy to improve. Check out the Run Basics Blog Series to find out how.
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My name is Geoff, I'm the run leader for Van Run Club.
I've been running for about 20 years now, but I'm not your natural athlete. I was overweight in high school. When I started running, I did a run-walk program running for 2 mins and walking 3. Over a summer I worked myself up to 4 mins running and 1 min walking. Then eventually I ran my first 60 min 10K and I was so proud of myself. I worked really hard for that.
I then ran for my cross country team and I was always last on my team but my coach needed the points because cross country is a team sport so I check at it. I ran through university to stay in shape and dabbled with a few triathlons. I then lived aboard for 5 years (Japan and Australia) and running was an inexpensive way to keep in shape.
Inspired by my dad, I decided to run my first marathon in Japan. Since then I've run 11 marathons including Boston, Chicago, Tokyo, Berlin, Vancouver and more. I worked my way down from 4:08 to my personal best in Chicago of 2:56. Another proud achievement was that I got my 10K down from over 60mins to 35mins.
Being tall and long-limbed, I've always felt like a baby giraffe when I've done new sports, running was not an exception. But I am a great learner, I ask lots of questions and I have always been relentless until I understand how things work. Which means, slowly but surely I started to grasp how my body worked and refine those skills.
I also work in Operations, which means that I help businesses build systems for efficiency. I've taken what I've learnt from my body about running and tried my best to systemize it and write about it in a way that allows others to learn from my years of questioning my coaches, mentors and gifted teammates, much to their nuisance.
If you're a natural athlete, hopefully this helps you understand what has come to without thought. However, this was designed for the people that running has never been natural, that all the natural athletes just say "Oh just run more". I wish it were that simple, but time and again, just running doesn't help injuries, form or make running easier in my experiences.
For non-natural athletes I believe that we need to listen to our bodies and the messages it sends us. Learn to adapt when our body tells us something isn't working rather than running through it. Hopefully this gives non-runners hope and a path to loving running the way that I do. I look forward to meeting and chatting with you on your run journey.
All the best,