Eclectic group runs for ISU Running Club

Isaac Hunt

Whether someone is highly competitive, is looking for a good workout or just is in love with running, the ISU Running Club will accept them.

There aren’t many qualifications. Some only come when they have time, while others run during practice along with their other workouts during the week. 

“It’s for anyone that enjoys running,” said Bill Crimmins, freshman in animal science. “[Or] if you have any interest in staying active and fit.”

With approximately 80 to 100 members and 25 to 30 on any given day at practice, the club is full of different people who are there for different reasons.

Crimmins, for example, said he doesn’t have a specific goal, but staying active is something he strives for. For others, competition is key, including former ISU cross-country runner Danny Ducharme.

“We have a lot of dedicated people and we have a large group of people doing workouts multiple times a week,” Ducharme said. “We’re all putting in a lot of time and doing the little things to try and get better.”

Ducharme left the cross-country team after two years because “it was very time-consuming with my class.”

Another demographic consists of younger runners striving to get better. 

“I was looking for a school to run for in college and I knew Iowa State was the college I wanted to go to,” said Adam Sohl, senior in chemical engineering. “I wasn’t fast enough to be on the varsity squad, and I found Iowa State Running Club, and it fit me perfectly.”

Road to nationals

Coming in second place last year at nationals did not leave a good taste in the runners’ mouths as they returned to Ames. This year they don’t plan on coming back with anything less than first. 

“As a squad we want to win the American National meet coming up in November,” Ducharme said. “That’s our goal as a squad and hopefully we can [achieve] it.”

Starting the season out ranked first is something deserved. The team welcomes back its top-seven runners from its second-place finish a year ago.

RUNISU — the team’s abbreviation — placed five runners inside the top-35 including Mason Frank, who finished sixth out of 525 runners.

They aren’t at it alone. They receive a form of coaching through Scott Gall, co-owner of the Runner’s Flat in Cedar Falls, Iowa, who emails the team workouts.

Gall has competed in U.S. Olympic Trials in the marathon and placed fifth at the World Mountain Running Championships.

They have outer support, but most of the motivation comes from within the group.

“We have this internal drive to become better,” Sohl said. “We all strive for the same goals, and I think that helps bring us together as a team.”

But when it comes down to it, Crimmins said what every runner is thinking: “The faster the better.”