In the midst of what the running community deems the second running boom (15.5 million people finished a running event in 2012, a record that continues to climb), the Greenpoint Y has jumped right in with its first-ever running club.
The Greenpoint Y Runners Club, led by Emily Ferrell, 23, stepped out on the road this past April. Since then it has seen growth in the number of members and improvement among regular goers.
“The main goal of the club is to create a fun, positive and social team atmosphere that motivates people…to reach their goals,” said Ferrell who is also a swim instructor and lifeguard at the Greenpoint Y.
These goals include running more often, running farther, running faster and completing road races.
Even Ferrell, who has been running for about five years, finds that the club motivates her to keep running; that was a big reason for her to become the group’s leader, in addition to the perks of being part of a team.
The club, which meets twice a week (Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and Tuesdays at 7 a.m.), is open to runners of all paces and experience. The group agrees upon the workouts—typically two to five miles at a pace between 9 1/2 and 11 minutes per mile.
The club makes its way around Greenpoint and Williamsburg (and sometimes Long Island City), starting with stretching and warming up in McCarren Park.
Regular members said the club motivates them to run more often and that running with others encourages them to run longer or father than if they were alone.
“I joined the running club because I like to run, and I thought it would be a good experience to try it out,” said Jasmine P. who joined the club in April. “I like to run with the group because it helps me motivate myself to not give up, but to work hard with them. I started running three to four miles outside, but then one day I ran over the Williamsburg Bridge and had the energy to run almost seven miles.”
When running smartly (knowing your body’s limitations, listening to illness and injury), it’s hard to find a downside to hitting the pavement. Studies have shown that 30 minutes a day of regular exercise—running in particular—can boost your health.
It can even boost your mood, according to a May 2013 study published in “Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.”
“Running is so important because aside from the obvious benefits of keeping in shape and improving your level of cardio fitness, it is one of those rare activities that are considered ‘life’ sports,” said Carbone, athletic director for St. Joseph’s College. “People can enjoy running whether they are two or 92.”
The health benefits of running get a lot of folks out the door. For others, training for a race is a way to hit the road. This fall, the Greenpoint Y Running Club will toe the line at the “Get to the ‘Point!” 5K, an annual race that benefits the St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Acamdeny.
To encourage participants, Frank Carbone of the Greenpoint Y Finance and Fund Development Committee will donate $10 to the Greenpoint Y for every member who completes the race and $50 for every board member who completes the race, held Oct. 12.
“Running is a wonderful group and social activity—it doesn’t matter how fast or slow you might be, as long as you have sneakers and a pair of shorts, you are ready to go,” said Carbone, who also serves as the “Get to the ‘Point!” event chairman and director of the St. Stan’s Athletic League. “This is one of the reasons why we developed the 5K Run, to provide a very affordable, low-cost opportunity for everyone in Brooklyn simply get together and enjoy a fun, family-oriented type of activity, with a fitness component tied to it.”
Carbone is confident the Greenpoint Y Runners Club has a bright future.
“I look forward to seeing the great things that the Y Runners Club will soon accomplish,” he said. “And the 5K Run is a great place to start.”
Join the Greenpoint Y Runners Club
Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and Tuesday at 7:00 a.m.
Meet 10 minutes before run time in the lobby of the Greenpoint Y (99 Meserole Avenue, Brooklyn, New York)
Register for the Get to the ‘Point! 5K