Featured Story: The HealthQuest Running Club
You may have noticed a mention in last week’s Happenings about HealthQuest’s Running Club completing the Rutgers 8K/Half Marathon. Of course, congratulations were in order, but what we did not get a chance to do was to share a great story about how this group got its start, what it’s all about, and some amazing success stories that have happened along the way!
The Running Club really did just start out of nowhere. Founder of the club, Group Fitness Instructor, Deb Arbach, was inspired to begin running after seeing 2 women she was friends with running on the treadmills here at HealthQuest. Deb thought she could tackle this new challenge and before long she became an avid runner. Soon after, she was teaching a pair of triathlon training classes. Deb’s passion for running and her propensity to help others led to the formation of what is now known as the HealthQuest Running Club.
The Running Club meets each Wednesday morning at 9:30am as listed on the Group Fitness Schedule. Deb incorporates a variety of cross training to help each individual meet their unique goals. Recently, members of the group completed the New York City Half Marathon and the Rutgers 8K/Half Marathon. They are looking forward to the Jersey State Triathlon and The Perfect 10 in July and October, respectively. Deb is quick to point out however, that marathons and triathlons are for everyone! She has plenty of information on smaller runs and encourages runners to take on various smaller runs throughout the year.
Deb’s Running Club members will tell you that she is one of the most dedicated and humble people you will ever meet. In her free time she reviews each interested members’ race times to develop training plans to help members reach their goals. Deb is not the type of person that enjoys the spotlight (She finished 1st in her age group for females at the Rutgers 8K/Half Marathon which she would not share with us, but her Running Club members did!) When asked what motivates her, Deb simply states, “To see people accomplish something they didn’t think they could.” This speaks volumes to Deb’s character and to the assistance she can provide anyone looking to reach new heights not only in fitness, but in life. There is a sense of pride amongst this group that is almost tangible. They have the utmost respect and gratitude for the leadership Deb provides while always by their side as they tackle goal after goal.
Jen Johnson is one member who joined the Running Club at the suggestion of a neighbor. Jen had run in the past but after having kids she got away from it. Shortly after having her third child, Jen joined the Running Club as a way to challenge herself. When asked why she thinks more people haven’t taken advantage of the Running Club, she said, “Some people may be intimidated because they think this club is full of elite runners but that is not the case at all. Each person in the Running Club has different abilities and personal goals.”
“I went from not being able to run a mile to running a half marathon!” states Christina Korb. As a new runner, Christina was most impressed with how warm and welcoming the club is and how the Running Club accommodates runners of all levels.
Running Club member Lisa Cleary echoed those same thoughts, and adds “The Running Club has someone for everyone; you will always find at least one person at the same level in their running development as you, so you will never be alone.” Lisa was not a runner before joining the Running Club but was highly motivated by Deb Arbach as a group fitness instructor so she decided to give it a try. She has since completed multiple triathlons! What she likes most about the club is how supportive everyone is of each other. Lisa stated, “It’s so nice to be able step out of your comfort zone with a great group of individuals each week”.
The Running Club is made up of men and women who have a contagious enthusiasm for what they do. Just speak to one of the members for a few minutes and you get a real sense of the pride they feel for the group and what they have accomplished together. As each of these Running Club members prove every day; everyone has to start somewhere, all you need to do is take that first step. If you have any questions or for more details, please contact Deb Arbach at firstname.lastname@example.org.