How to do a 5K Without Being a Runner: Fort Lauderdale running club wants to get you off the couch and into a race

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Danny Tritto has been part of the Front Runners & Walkers Fort Lauderdale Club for six years, but before that, he never ran.

“I wanted to be athletic, I wanted to do something,” Tritto, who lives in Wilton Manors, said. But I never played baseball or football, so to me, running seemed natural.”

And today, Tritto has run in a multitude of races, including his favorite: last year’s Rainbow 5K hosted by The Pride Center.

The first-ever 5K from The Center was a huge success for runners like Tritto, and Front Runners wants to get others involved in the next one on Jan. 22. That’s why the club is hosting their own couch to 5K training program for new or novice runners.

Eric Runyan, President of Front Runners & Walkers Fort Lauderdale, has seen how successful other couch to 5K programs have been around the country, and wanted to entice others to join in on the running/walking fun.

“We’re trying to get people to come out, and we’ll hold their hand, and walk them through the fundamentals of becoming a runner,” Runyan said.

The group is hosting an information session on Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 6:30 pm at The Pride Center, where aside from showing non-runners how to get involved, Front Runners is also giving away two tickets to see Dolly Parton on Nov. 27.

The club has been around for about 25 years, with 98 paid members. With three weekly runs, two in Fort Lauderdale and one in Wilton Manors, members get together to stay active on an individual level while being part of a group.

Runyan said that the group has both runners and walkers, so the skill level of everyone varies. But it’s the team feeling that really brings everyone together.

“We always eat after our runs,” he said. “We mix it up with where we go, but we try to keep it casual with places like Zona Fresca, Spring Chicken, and Pei Wei.”

But this year, Runyan wants to encourage other non-members to get more involved in the Rainbow 5K race. Just because you’re not a member doesn’t mean you can’t participate.

The Nov. 22 meeting is free and open to the public, and the eight-week training program is also free; you do not need to be a member of Front Runners to participate. But when you join the program, you’ll be paired up with a Front Runners volunteer to help you get started and keep you on track with your goals.

“You don’t have to be athletic to join the club,” Tritto said. “Everyone has to start somewhere.

Front Runners is an international organization with major chapters across the world. To join the local chapter, visit frontrunnersfortlauderdale.org.

 

Want to go?

What: Front Runners couch to 5K information session
Where: The Pride Center at Equality Park
2040 N Dixie Hwy, Room #200
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33305
When: Tuesday, Nov. 22 at 6:30 pm
Cost: Free


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