Runners, walkers clinic gets on the move

PARKERSBURG – Clinics for those wanting to get in shape by running or walking took place Tuesday at the City Park Pavilion.

Melissa Wigal, director of the clinic for the River City Runners and Walkers Club, said it was the 26th annual beginning runners clinic and the sixth annual beginning walkers clinic. Wigal said the goal is for the beginners to work their way to a goal.

“This is a 10-week program designed to work up to a 5K race, which is 3.1 miles,” she said. “It’s for running and walking.”

Wigal said they will meet every Tuesday and every clinic will begin with speakers giving short talks on running topics such as proper shoes, effective stretching and appropriate running distances.

The last clinic session is June 4 and all participants will be part of a 5K run or walk. The clinic is open to new members to join any time over the 10-week period, said Wigal, who has been director for the past seven years.

The clinic recently was recognized as the best beginners clinic in the United States by the Road Runners Club of America, Wigal said.

Two Ohio Valley University students took part in the clinic this year. For Jacob Glaspell, it’s an opportunity to get in better shape.

“I wanted to get active and lose some weight and become more healthy,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to run a 5K and they told me this is the training for it.”

Ethan Zimmerly attended for two reasons.

“I came mainly because he (Glaspell) asked me to come with him and I like to exercise so I thought it would be a good thing.”

Zimmerly said he has not decided if he wants to participate in a race at the end of the clinic.

Debbie Spears has been in charge of the walkers part of the clinic.

“Walking is a great way to get fitness without injuring your body,” she said. “A lot of people are not fit enough to start off running, so walking is to get them moving and maybe drop a few pounds along the way.”

Spears said some walkers walk as fast as some runners run. Spears said she got involved because she had been a race walker for several years.

“I was a race walker in the club for several years and someone pulled me aside and said I should teach race walking,” she said. “One year I said there are some people who were going to show who wanted to be walkers and not run. The next year walking was part of the clinic.”

Donna Graham got into race walking after she broke her kneecap and it changed her life.

“I started walking 18 months after I recovered,” she said. “I did it to strengthen my knee. I met some race walkers; that’s how it all started.

“It’s a wonderful sport and it changed my life.”

Graham assists Spears by working with those who are taking a second session for advanced training.

For the first session the speaker was Dorsey Cheuvront, owner of On the Run and Walk. During the session he spoke about picking the right shoes.

“The first thing I ask do you know what type of foot you have,” he said. “You can find out with the wet foot test as you step out of the tub or shower.”

By looking at the footprint left, the arch of the foot can be determined to be high arch, medium arch or flat arch.

“The percentages are 60 to 65 percent for the normal arch, about 20 percent for the low or flat arch and the rest in the high arch range,” he said.

Cheuvront said running or walking shoes are good for 300 to 500 miles.