One of our newest bloggers Drew hails from Redmond, OR and is a member of the Redmond Oregon Running Klub, or RORK. They appear to be fanatics for running, but still operate with that chill Central Oregon vibe. Their heralded leader, Dan Edwards, is always coming up with unique and fun runs through the week to keep things fresh. He keeps himself busy, but we have been lucky enough to catch him for a brief interview.
Q: Why did you start this group, and what did you intend to get out of creating this group?
Dan: I moved to Powell Butte in 1999 and seemed most events that took place were in Bend. I would go to Bend to participate in races, buy running shoes from the running store, attend clinics etc. I moved to Redmond in 2004; Still, not a lot of activity in Redmond. I continued to travel to Bend. As I looked at finish results and attend clinics, I would meet and read about finishers from Redmond!! As I visited with them I would ask about having activity like this in Redmond…everyone loved the idea and to have something more local. Feedback fueled the fire and my passion for being active and building the community of running up in Redmond. In May 2010, with insight from others in my circle of runners, we came up with our logo and started a Facebook page, email group, and business cards, as well as connected with a Physical Therapy company that helps support us. My idea and still is today as that we reach out and continue to be an informal, welcoming grassroots runners- all are welcome. We are a come as you are type Klub that expands people, community, and their families.
Q: Is the group where you imagined it being when you started out? What sort of growth and demand does Central Oregon have?
Dan: The group has exceeded my expectations from the start. I have 250-300 that have requested to be included in the email group. Just today we reached 500 “Likes” on Facebook. Attendance can vary; it could be just me to 30 with the average being about 15-20 for our regular runs. About a year into the Running Klub, I was getting requests to add a walking group. So I have asked one of our long time members who walks to lead that portion for us. Some of the walkers have become runners! We have folks who have come from LaPine, Bend, Sisters, Madras and visitors from across the states who have hooked up with us.
Q: Do you put on any races, or are they all just training run meet ups?
Dan: Because we are just a “group” of folks who want to connect and be active, it’s difficult to pull off and an official “race”. Liability, insurance, 501c Non-profit distracts from the intent. So, I connect with local entities that want to raise money for a run and I will help with course development, race coordination, locate sponsors etc However, I do put on a few “Fun Runs” that don’t require registration (eg. Resolution Run, Christmas Light Run and our first annual Super Bowl at the Spud Bowl (SBSB) Run).
Q: How often does the group meet, and are their time slots to fit most people’s schedules?
Dan: We meet on Saturday mornings all year long plus a mid-week run. Anyone at any time are welcome to do a “Shout Out” for a “Show n’ Go”. There are cells of runners and walkers that just get together on their own, due to the relationship they have established in the Klub. Attempting to meet schedules can be a challenge, but we are loose enough that eventually folks meet up outside Klub to connect.
Q: Is there any other activities the group does beside running?
Dan: Walking of course. We also connect with Trinity Bikes for trail builds and often are invited to help or be an addition to their events. I invite the Learn to Run program from Bend to come put on a class in Redmond, Rebound Physical Therapy will come do a talk on injury prevention and nutritionist come and present to the group.
Q: Is there a registration fee, and is the group open to all skill levels?
Free to join. I hope to keep it that way. Assistance from supporters like Rebound Physical Therapy and Footzone Bend help a lot! – RORK is a diverse group and is fueled with ALL skill levels.
Q: What does the future look like for the RORK running group?
Dan: The future looks bright for RORK. I am a single dad with a full-time job that requires travel (all of which I am very blessed to have and is priority). If I could donate additional time, I believe RORK could expand, as well as the growth in the running revolution in Redmond. The Klub has been active for going on 5 years and I still run into folks who didn’t know the Klub existed and come for their first time! Time restrictions can sometimes hinder some success. In it all, more are moving in Redmond than ever before, and running events are growing here too. Many are motivated to move by just following us on Facebook, Twitter, email – I call those my cyber cell group. We may never see them, but they are affected in a positive way with purpose. RORK has become like family. I don’t have blood relatives in Central Oregon and relationships are vital to growth and success! No one gets there alone. Someone somewhere said or did something that lit a spark that caused growth. It’s not me that makes the Klub…THEY make RORK, “RORK”.