It would take a lot more than rain, sleet, snow, wind or sun to stop the group of runners from Mile One Running Shop. Every week, all year long, a group of local runners is out on the street, pounding the pavement at their own pace.
The Mile One running group originally started out as the Magic City Striders, a bunch of people participating in and promoting the sport of running, and was started by Connie Feist. Then when Mile One Running Shop opened two years ago, the Striders merged with the Mile One running group because there was no reason to have two groups doing the same thing, said Reece Vega, Mile One manager. The Mile One has no real formal name, Vega added, and there are various subgroups for runners doing different kinds of training for specific races.
In the fall and winter, the group runs on Saturday mornings at 10 a.m., and on Tuesday nights at 6:30 in the spring and summer. Vega said it's such a huge group of people that the distance they run varies, but normally they run between three and seven miles. They don't have a standard distance.
There also isn't a standard pace. Many times runners partner up with someone close to their pace, he added.
Most of the members in the group run the local 5K road races, Vega said, because they like to support the local races. He noted the big thing now seems to be training for half-marathons, and some of the members run full marathons.
In the winter, the group stays mainly in Oak Park for their runs, Vega said, because Oak Park does a great job with plowing and the park provides shelter from the wind. When it gets really cold, the group will just run for a mile around the neighborhood of Mile One, and they have to run in the streets because people usually don't shovel their sidewalks. To keep from slipping on the ice, Vega said runners will screw nails into the bottoms of their running shoes or wear Yak Traks or trail running shoes since those have more grip.
The attendance numbers vary for the group runs, depending on the season. Vega said 30 people will usually show up in the winter, but in the summer as few as 10 will show up due to people running in races of their choosing.
"In the summer it's kind of funny because everyone is doing their own thing," he said.
There is also a wide variety of ages in the Mile One running group. There have been some junior high kids who have joined the group in their runs, as well as a lot of high school kids before their cross-country or track season starts, and every age up to 70 years old, he said.
Runners do not have to pay membership fees in order to be in the running group. To become a member, Vega said most people come in to the Mile One store, talk to one of the employees, and the employee will take the person's e-mail address or tell them to check out the page on Facebook.
"If you want to come out and run with us, come out," he said. "It's very informal."
Vega said he has noticed a definite increase in attendance of the group runs. When he first started working at Mile One, there were only five to 10 people who would show up, and now it's 10 to 30 people.
"It's crazy how much the fitness level in Minot has risen within the past five years," Vega remarked.
Members typically enjoy the social aspect that comes with the running group the most, Vega said. It also helps you get to know more people in the community and is a fun time, he added. People generally don't want to run 10 miles by themselves, Vega said, and the group helps them have someone to run with.
Vega said he'd like to show people the before and after of a running group.
"Before the run, no one wants to talk because they don't know each other and they're shy, and then afterward everyone is talking to everyone," he said. "It's fun to see the before and after."
"If you want to join, come to the group run," Vega said. "It's free and you get a run out of it. Once you run one time with the group, you're in.
"No matter how fast or slow you are, there will be someone to run with you. We want to include everyone."