Shortly after taking over as Otsego’s Cross Country Coach, Steve Long formed the Otsego Running Club. That was 14 years ago, “it was mainly a way to get the kids out running during the summer,” he says, “and have a group of people to run with and keep up on their overall fitness.”
But the club has grown to include kids as young as 10 years old and often times, alumni stop by and join a few workouts. Anyone is welcome to join.
The club has also grown in its mission which is to “support running and healthy living in the Otsego community.” The Otsego Running Club now gives out two scholarships each year, each worth $500; the ORC has given away $6,000 in scholarships since it began awarding them in 2005.
It also supports the middle school and high school cross country and track teams; one way is through scholarships for students to attend cross country camp.
One of the largest fundraisers for the group is coming up this Saturday, August 4, the Ready or Not 5K road run. It starts and ends at Memorial Park in Otsego. (Map is on run website.)
There are a lot of races happening on the same date this year – 31, in fact. But Long says the Ready or Not race has a lot to offer. It’s a smaller race (between 100-200 people), it’s local and it’s a flat, fast course, possibly an opportunity to earn a personal record. Because it’s smaller, chances are also better to win one of the top three medals in your age group, “this is just a nice, local race,” Long says.
There are also several door prizes with great support from local businesses like area restaurants and shops as well as Climb Kalamazoo and area golf courses.
You can register for the event through the morning of the race. It’s $25 to register the day of the event, and $20 to register before. You can print out a registration form and mail it in or register online. All of the information is on the running club webpage: www.runotsego.com.
Or click here to go right to the online sign-up sheet. https://www.signmeup.com/site/online-event-registration/82148/SMUCalendar