|Triathlon club will run for clearer Constitution Trail path|
|Written by Andrew Rosten, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Thursday, 16 April 2009 18:00|
For about two decades, the Constitution Trail has provided residents of Bloomington-Normal with more than 24 miles of pavement.
On this pavement, they can walk, hike and ride bikes, among other acts of exercise. Members of ISU's triathlon team use the Constitution Trail to train for events such as five-kilometer runs.
On Saturday, the team will run through a trail of its own, beginning at the Milner Plaza at 9 a.m. The 5K run will continue on Beaufort Street, underneath Main Street, around the Tri-Towers and conclude back at the plaza.
Proceeds from the event will be donated to the upkeep of the Constitution Trail.
Senior triathlon club president James Roche said, for an admission fee of $10, regular ISU students and community members can run in the 5K race as well.
"We have about 15-20 people signed up right now, but we expect the majority of people to sign up on race day," Roche said. "In the past, that's definitely how it's been. We usually don't have this many people signed up by now. Usually, everybody comes in on race day. We usually get about 30-50 runners, and we hope we can get more than that [this year]."
One of the runners participating in the race will be freshman Kelly Kester, who said she has been running since she was an 11-year-old and enjoys doing so for ISU.
"I quit soccer and every sport I did to run, so I've been doing that ever since," Kester said. "It's been a lot of fun. I have just always loved this school, and I came here. I don't even know how I found [this club]. I just kind of came to a meeting and found the club. It's been nice because you just see runners everywhere, and a lot of them aren't from the club."
Roche said he started participating in triathlons after quitting baseball in high school.
"I was just bored and started biking and whatnot," Roche said. "When winter came around, I thought I might as well run. I read this one book called 'Ultra Marathon Man;' it really got me motivated. I came to ISU and stumbled upon the triathlon club. Having everyone else there was huge and really made a big difference. It is my senior year, and it's been really good so far."
Like Roche, freshman Casey Graham started taking running seriously late in her high school career.
"In high school, I was a theatre choir geek, and once I came here I hung out with all the running people," Graham said. "It's been a real group atmosphere. I'm getting more and more into running and hanging out with people with similar interests instead of just the theatre thing."
Although she will be at the 5K race as a spectator only due to tendonitis in her knee, Graham said she likes the idea of donating proceeds from the event to the Constitution Trail. One of the things she wants is to install lights alongside the trail.
"I love the Constitution Trail; it's just a nice place to run," Graham said. "My first 10-mile run that I did with my roommate was on it. It was late in the evening, and it ended up being dark on the way back. We did five miles back, which is terrifying, so I'm really glad that we're saving up money and donating toward that. Hopefully, we can get some lights out there."
Like Graham, Roche and Kester said they use the Constitution Trail and like the idea of donating to its upkeep.
"Everybody in the club goes out there to run and train," Roche said. "It's been a lot to us, and we figure that we should raise money to give back to that. It takes a lot to keep up the trail; a lot of money, a lot of effort and a lot of work."
"It's really nice," Kester added. "I go on there a lot because it's really pretty and it connects to everywhere. I think [donating to the Constitution Trail is] a really good idea because there are certain things that could be improved."