Williams Lake Running Club members Mark Vandermaaten (from left), Leo Rankin and Nara Riplinger enjoy a run in the Williams Lake River Valley during a brisk, Sunday morning. (Greg Sabatino photos)

Running club invites new runners to join Sunday fun

A group of Williams Lake running enthusiasts has never let a little bit of weather slow them down

A group of Williams Lake running enthusiasts has never let a little bit of weather slow them down.

For more than 30 years, the Williams Lake Running Club has been a fun, social environment for outdoor fitness lovers year-round in the Cariboo started by Deb and Pat Radolla.

Every Sunday morning at 9 a.m. the group meets in the parking lot at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex before deciding on a route for the day. Some members also meet on Wednesday mornings.

Running club member Leo Rankin has been with the group for roughly 20 years.

“It’s a loose group of runners, but just about all of us have run a marathon,” Rankin said, adding he’s hoping to see more young runners get involved with the group.

A popular Sunday destination is a one-hour jaunt through the Williams Lake River Valley — one location fellow runner Nara Riplinger said she enjoys.

“I like it because I don’t want to run in the River Valley by myself, and I know on Sundays I’ll have people to run with,” Riplinger said. “It’s just a really nice group.”

She said it’s common to see members supporting one another if they happen to be training for a longer-distance run somewhere by providing tips and training techniques.

“If someone’s training for a run a group will meet up with them earlier, or we can just provide support where they need it,” she said.

Rankin added aside from the camaraderie, it’s a great way to stay in shape, feel good and see some of the region’s spectacular scenery.

“It’s also good because sometimes, if you’re just doing it by yourself, you might not be motivated to go out in the morning to run,” Riplinger said. “But with the group you know someone’s committed to running, and you just show up.”

The group, however, isn’t just for avid running enthusiasts.

This past winter, roughly 10 to 12 runners and another 15 walkers regularly enjoyed the Sunday morning trek. As the weather improves, the club expects more members will start to rejoin the group.

The walkers get to go at their own pace, without any pressure to keep up with some of the faster runners in the club.

Riplinger and Rankin both said they’d invite anyone wanting to get some exercise to join the group.

“We exchange a lot of ideas about running equipment, strategies, nutrition — things like that,” Rankin said.

The group has a Facebook page, ‘Williams Lake Running Club,’ with more than 80 members who also help support each other online.

Asked why he enjoys running, Rankin said it’s a great way to experience the Cariboo.

“Some of the things you see you wouldn’t get a chance to otherwise,” he said. “And, yeah, if anyone’s interested in coming out, please do. It’s not about speed.”


Glen Davidson (from left), Leah Vandermaaten and Rick James all try to make it part of their Sunday morning routine to meet up with the Williams Lake Running Club for some exercise each week.

Just Posted

Thieves target Mt. Timothy Ski Area

ATV, snowmobile, rentals and merchandise among items stolen

Athletes ready to ride at weekend’s indoor rodeo

The 28th annual Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo rides into action this weekend

81st Annual Williams Lake Bull Show and Sale underway in lakecity

The Williams Lake Stockyards is bustling with activity for the Williams Lake Bull Show and Sale

Williams Lake RCMP investigating suspicious vehicle fire

Williams Lake Fire Dept. responded at 10:20 p.m. to vehicle fire in the parking lot of the Cariboo Memorial Complex

Isnardy named president at Williams Lake minor hockey AGM

New executive sworn in for 2018/2019 season

VIDEO: Complex begins transformation for Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo

Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo organizers began preparing the arena Tuesday for this weekend’s rodeo

Countdown is on to the 2018 B.C. Summer Games

Cowichan Valley hosts on July 19-22

Driving Change: A B.C. man’s charitable trip across Canada

A Kelowna man, his bus, and his mission for positive change across our country

Case of teacher secretly filming teens reaches top court

Acquittal of teacher, Ryan Jarvis, who secretly videoed teens ‘dangerous,’ top court told

Why a 14-year-old will lead the charge at annual marijuana protest on the Hill

Marijuana enthusiasts have long been circling April 20 on their calendars as annual day of cannabis

B.C. communities await marine spill compensation years after incidents

The government maintains a Ship Source Oil Pollution Fund to compensate Canadians

RCMP say too early to know what happened in Broncos crash

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki said collission very complex

Conservative MP wants feds to close loophole for illegal border crossers

Immigration advocates call on government to suspend Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement

Alberta university criticized for honouring David Suzuki

University of Alberta plans to bestow environmentalist with honourary degree

Most Read