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CRS Message from the President
Board PresidentA Message from the President
December 2005

Running is not a team sport. So why participate as a member of a running club? All I really need to participate is my ambition to get out the door and a decent pair of athletic shoes. No need to depend on others, no aggravation of trying to make a ball fly in a specific direction, and better yet, nothing flying back at me. If I perform well I can revel in the glory of self accomplishment knowing that I did it all on my own. On the other hand, if I am not having my best day, I have let no one down except for myself. Running is a solitary sport, so why am I a Calumet Region Strider?

There are many occasions when running with other runners has made the miles so much more enjoyable. I realize this when I reminisce about the day I decided I wanted to be recognized as a runner. It was the blistering cold and snowy Christmas Eve of 1996. Sitting near my tree at home it hit me; I no longer considered myself an athlete. This thought haunted me for what felt like hours. Before I knew it, I was bundling up and planning my route. I had no idea how far I could go, or how long I would be out there, but I took that first step and have not looked back since. I loathe running and I love running - it just depends on what day you ask me.

Flipping through the pages of an Indiana newspaper, I found an announcement inviting people of all ages to participate in a 5k run/walk titled Flurry Scurry. I lived in a western suburb of Chicago, so it would be a significant commute. Regardless, I found a goal to work toward. The only reason I knew what 5k equated to was because of my engineering degree. See Dad, I did learn something in college! Otherwise, I was never privy to the fact that this is a popular race distance. 3.1 miles would be a stretch, but a challenge I was willing to accept regardless of the chilling January mornings in Chesterton I have come to cherish over the years.

The weeks leading up to the race were torture. Each day I would add on to my route; a block here, a cul-de-sac there. Race day arrived. There was much anticipation as I entered the Chesterton YMCA to register and receive my bag full of chochkies. The gymnasium was abuzz with energy and I was surrounded by strangers. It was a thrilling and contagious atmosphere. I wanted to seek out the next event I could attend. Calumet Region Striders provided the answer. Little did I know that only a few years later I would call this town my home and these strangers my friends.

I became a Calumet Region Strider in 1997 so that I could receive newsletters that would notify me of upcoming events and enlighten me about my new found sport. Striders has evolved and flourished over the years. Now runners can readily obtain information over the internet, and more specifically, through the freely accessible calstrider.org web page. So why pay fifteen dollars for an annual membership or $7.50 for additional family members? I offer three words: Support, Ownership, and Belonging.

Our club incurs expenses to provide information and resources to the running community. Our sponsors and race directors assist in providing a cash flow into our funds, but we must also support our flow of funds out of the club. Calumet Region Striders experiences expenses for RRCA club membership, club insurance, general business operations, timing equipment, postage for newsletters, and web hosting fees to name a few. So, if you enjoy and appreciate the benefits and events Calumet Region Striders provides to the running community, please show your support and gratitude by renewing or starting your membership with Calumet Region Striders.

With support comes ownership. The board members of the organization are always open to recommendations. Our members assist in selecting the races on the Gold Cup Schedule through surveys and race evaluations. You are the club - we wouldn't be Striders without you!

All runners are welcome at any of our events. So while we wouldn't turn someone away because they are not a member, we recognize those who are. Members of our organization are highlighted in our INSTEP newsletter, on our calstrider.org web site, and in various community publications. Their accomplishments are boasted on and we try to recognize every member for the amazing feats they accomplish. It is an amazing sense of belonging when I can attend an event or race and say to myself. "This is where I fit in". I have forged incredible relationships along the way. Many Calumet Region Striders have inspired and encouraged me. At the same time, I hope to do the same for others. It can be done, and you can do it.

I look forward to seeing all of you at the start line and learning of your accomplishments throughout 2006. Please enjoy our December 2005 INSTEP. Thank you for an amazing year, and the greatest gift you bear - your friendship.

Get Out There & Run!

Cassandra
President - Calumet Region Striders

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