Sparta Runners Club is a New Jersey non-profit organization established in 2006 by three friends who came together through running. Here is their story:
Pam was motivated to start running at the age of 43 as a means to controlling weight and adding physical exercise to live a healthy life style. Her Road ID states it plainly: "I Run to Eat and Drink!"
JoAnn began running right after high school for 5 years, but stopped when she moved away and didn't have anyone to run with. She picked it back up when her new neighbor Pam said she wanted to start running.
After a few months with their longest run being 4 miles, Joann convinced Pam that the two of them could run a marathon, specifically the "PF Chang Rock and Roll Marathon", completely passing over the shorter distance races. Without any race experience, Pam was game. They found direction and encouragement with Team in Training (TNT) and completed their first marathon together in January of 2006.
Team In Training is all about helping you to achieve a distance running goal, while at the same time helping to raise money for a great cause: finding a cure for leukemia and other blood cancers.
While Pam and JoAnn were on their quest to complete a marathon, a neighbor of theirs, Glenn, inquired on their goal. Glenn had been a casual runner for most of his life, and as he approached his 40's found himself feeling the need to accomplish something "big" - like a marathon. He was frustrated with the lack of motivation and a training plan.
It was after he met Pam and JoAnn and he learned about their TNT experience that his marathon dream started to take root. He attended an informational meeting with TNT and signed up on the spot. He then trained for and completed the "San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon" in June 2006 - he's been an active TNT coach and mentor ever since.
All three emerged from their TNT marathon experience with a renewed enthusiasm for running. When it was over, however, they found themselves missing the wonderful "group run" experience that TNT offered. It was difficult to go back to doing solo runs after running every weekend with 20 or 30 good friends!
Taking a look around them, they saw many runners doing their thing alone on the roads and trails. They considered these runners potential candidates for creating the group run they so missed. They certainly saw the value of running with others from their own experience; not only as a commitment that you make to your running partner to be there for a run, but more so, the ability to share information relating to anything from shoes, to hydration, to motivation when it's raining, to sharing the aches and pains.
The club became a reality for them later in 2006, when they founded the Sparta Runners Club, Inc. At the club's inception, there were only 10 members, 6 of which were the founders and their spouses. The other 4 were friends from their local neighborhood who were very enthusiastic.
In its first two years, the club grew to over 60 members, not only from Sparta, but from towns like Newton, Jefferson, Franklin, Sussex, and Andover.
Today, the Sparta Runners Club continues to grow as more local residents learn about the club through races, flyers, this web site, and the running shirts our members wear to races. The Club actively expands its area influence to include sponsorship of local runs, alliances with local health and fitness organizations, and its promotion of running as a fun lifestyle activity for all to enjoy.
Current Sparta Runners Officers