Char Groet

Char Groet



Many of us know Charlene Groet as Char, the race director of the Wooden Shoe Race. As founder of the Rotary Ramble 5K in 1981, Char has been the race director for the past 37 years. She announced her retirement from that position prior to last month's race (8/12/2017), but has assured us the race will continue with a new director.

The Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) awards championship events through a competitive bidding process at the National, Regional, and State level to RRCA member clubs and events to promote the sport of distance running. The Rotary Ramble has been chosen as the RRCA Indiana State 5K Championship Race multiple times and as the RRCA Central Region 5K Championship Race twice. The goal of the RRCA Championship Event Series is to shine a spotlight on well-run events. We agree the Rotary Ramble certainly deserves that distinction.

Here are some interesting facts about Char many of you may not know. She began running in 1978 at the age of 31 and was running 85 miles per week for many years from 1979-1995. Throughout her running career she also:

  • Completed 15 marathons.
  • Was invited to be one of 12 torch bearers at the 1981 Sports Festival beginning at Pikes Peak, Colorado, and ending in Indiana.
  • Ran a PR of 2:46.53 at the NYC Marathon in 1982.
  • Qualified at the London Marathon in 1983, which was 8 hours ahead of the Boston Marathon.
  • Was the first female to qualify for the first-ever Women's Olympic Marathon Trials in Olympia, Washington, in 1984.
  • Founded and incorporated the Back Roads Running Club in 1994.
  • Was chosen as a torchbearer for the 1996 Atlanta, Georgia, Olympics.
  • Coached middle school girls track & field 1978-86.
  • Was Assistant Coach for high school boys and girls cross country 1979-89.
  • Coached high school girls track & field 1987-97.
  • Coached middle school boys and girls cross country 1990-99.
  • Coached Celeste Susnis a 3-time State Champ, Kinney CC National Champ, a 3-time 3200M State Champ, and 1-time 1600M State Champ.
  • Conducted many children's fun runs.