Registration Underway For Duke's Run/Walk Club

Spring session for all fitness levels begins March 12 and runs through May 30

Beth Doyle, left, used Duke's Run/Walk Club to prepare for her first 5K. She ran Duke's Pumpkin Fun Run in November 2011. Photo courtesy of LIVE FOR LIFE.

For Beth Doyle, making a New Year's resolution was easy in 2011. She wanted to complete her first 5K race but reaching that goal was tougher than she anticipated.

After months of training on her own, she joined Duke's Run/Walk Club, a twice-a-week gathering to exercise with faculty and staff. Doyle found the motivation to achieve her goal in 2011 when she finished Duke's Pumpkin Fun Run in 42 minutes.

"I used to get out of breath from climbing two flights of stairs," said Doyle, head of conservation services for Duke Libraries. "Joining Run/Walk was a great way to ease into exercise because everyone in the group is great and you don't need any equipment or a membership. You just show up."

Registration for the 12-week Run/Walk Club is now underway for the session that runs March 12 through May 30.

Last year, about 720 total faculty and staff participated in the fall and spring sessions of the club, which is sponsored by LIVE FOR LIFE, Duke's employee wellness program. The club meets from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. each Monday and Wednesday. Walkers and beginning runners meet at the East Campus wall, across from Whole Foods on Broad Street; more advanced runners meet in front of Wallace Wade Stadium.

At each location, participants form groups according to fitness level and follow clearly laid out plans to help participants improve fitness and lower stress.

"The important part of our efforts with the Run/Walk Club is that we offer something for everyone, whether they're training for a 5K or a marathon," said Liz Grabosky, fitness manager with LIVE FOR LIFE. "Our aspiration is to help anyone who joins our group work toward achieving their fitness and health goals."

That's what happened with Aurea Gagliardotto, who didn't exercise regularly and never thought of herself as a runner. She didn't think the group was right for her until she decided to give it a try in March 2011 at the suggestion of a friend.

"The first time I ran with the group I felt like such a fish out of water," said Gagliardotto, a staff assistant in the Duke Clinical Research Institute's Office of Cardiovascular Research. "Now I can run for 20 to 25 minutes straight, and I think it's the best exercise I've ever done."

Visit the Run/Walk website to register for the club.