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President’s Corner: Spotlight on Bev Salerno, Justine Krell, Elsa Slater, Samantha Spitaletta, and Glen Freyer

President’s Corner:  Bev Salerno, Justine Krell, Elsa Slater, Samantha Spitaletta, and Glen Freyer, prepared by Paul Maloney 

Our spotlight this month is on five of our very active members, Bev Salerno, Justine Krell, Elsa Slater, Samantha Spitaletta, and Glen Freyer.  Be sure to take the time to read about their great running experiences.  In addition, be sure to register early for our December 1st 30th Anniversary Dinner!

Bev Salerno

1. What is your favorite Essex Running Club experience?

My fondest ERC memories are of the group runs. When I first joined ERC, and for several years afterwards, these runs were my favorites. I got to know many wonderful ERCers, got great advice, and gained running experience. Unfortunately, because of my babysitting schedule (grandma duties!), I can no longer get to these regularly, but group runs are the best!

2. What is your favorite running experience?

My favorite running experience was also my most challenging. The marathons! My first marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon, was life-changing. I never had so much fun (or suffered so much). Thanks to a great pace group, and to Genie Temmler, who was my rabbit for 9 miles and even bought me a bottle of water when I was close to death. And then there are the marathons that I did with my constant running buddy, Sue Palermo. These marathons were not always fun (actually NEVER fun), but they certainly were memorable. Sue and I always managed to laugh afterwards, even if we couldn’t walk.

3. What training methods have worked for you? What advice would you give to a new runner?

I came to running 10 years ago from a completely different sport — powerlifting. I was a beginner at age 55. I still do a variety of exercise but I don’t do anything very well. Every week I do 1-2 days of ballet, 1 day of biking, 1 day of heavy lifting, and maybe 1-2 days of running. That’s not a lot of running and I really can’t recommend what I do to new runners. But what I can recommend is what Joan Szabo told me years ago. Joan was the person who talked me into running (and it took her a long time to get through to me). She told me to HAVE PATIENCE. BE CONSISTENT. TAKE IT ONE STEP AT A TIME. If you are new to running and are not blessed with runner genes then you have to build up endurance slowly. It took me an entire year to run one mile.

4. What are your current running goals?

I turn 66 years old this December. My current running goal is to just stay healthy enough to keep running. any distance. any speed. (my other big goal is to do one good pirouette).

Justine Krell

1. What is your favorite Essex Running Club experience?

River 2Sea, without a doubt.  Although I must say, the first time I ran 14 miles, 20 miles, with club members encouraging me along the way, was very importnant in my devlopment.  THe significance of having someone there with you cannot be underestimated.

2. What is your favorite running experience?

Having thousands of people cheer for you and yell out your name during a marathon !

3. What training methods have worked for you?

Gradually increasing the miles and always stretching afterwards. What advice would you give to a new runner? 1) get the RIGHT shoes go to a running store. 2) gradual increase miles/time; don’t jump in expecting a lot at first.  3) stretch afterwards !

4. What are your current running goals?

1) Complete a triathlon  at Six Flags 2) Complete Reach The Beach NH 3) maybe LBI 18 miler or a fall half?
Elsa Slater

1. What is your favorite Essex Running Club experience?

I would have to say the hosted runs. The camaraderie is great and it’s always fun to shake things up and try a new route. The winter runs are particularly helpful in motivating me to keep running outside during the colder months, and there is nothing like a nice hot cup of coffee and some friendly conversation after a chilly morning run!

2. What is your favorite running experience?
“Definitely running my first marathon at Walt Disney World. It’s one of our family’s favorite vacation spots and it was tremendous fun experiencing the parks as part of a race. Maybe it was all the entertainment on the course and the amazing spectator support, or maybe it was because Florida is as flat as a pancake, but the miles really flew by! I was apprehensive about covering the entire distance and still feeling well, but I really only started to get fatigued in the last couple of miles. There was some “Disney Magic” at work there for sure! I couldn’t have asked for a better first marathon experience! ”

3. What training methods have worked for you? What advice would you give to a new runner?

Taking time to fit some cross training in is always a challenge, but I definitely notice a difference when I take the time to do this. And really stretching out, either for a few minutes on my own, or taking a yoga class helps to lessen discomfort when piling on the miles in preparation for a longer race. As for advice to a new runner: get good shoes and make sure you are not trying to pack too much into each run at first. Run so you feel like you made an effort, but one that doesn’t leave you exhausted at the end.

4. What are your current running goals?

I’m training for my first NYC Marathon, and my goal is to soak up the experience and cross the finish line feeling strong!

Samantha Spitaletta

1) What is your favorite Essex Running Club experience?

My favorite Essex Running Club experience was the 10 hill challenge! I can’t believe I am actually saying “hill” and “favorite” in the same sentence! I know hills make you stronger. Hills are still new to me and I used to loathe them (I hated hills!). But little by little I am slightly enjoying them more now. And while training for the New York City Marathon (my first marathon, by the way) I hear it’s good to incorporate hill training. So…I was up for the “challenge”. It was tough, I have to say. I can never look at Bradford Avenue the same again!! Whew! But I was so proud of myself for completing it! It was very well organized. The maps were helpful. The fuel stations were a relief. And the refreshments after were great, too. I’m really glad ERC offers these wonderful “special” runs. The 10 Hill Challenge along with the 20-mile long mile supported runs are so helpful and really appreciated. And if I’m allowed to have a second favorite (I can have two favorites, right?)…it would be the 20-mile run in 2012…It was my first 20 miler. Power Bar was there for fluid and gels. Another well organized event. So many runners at different paces which was fantastic. And just completing the 20 mile run made me so happy. I couldn’t have done it without ERC!

2) What is your favorite Essex Running Club experience?

My favorite running experience is simply joining ERC. I joined last year (June 2012). I have run half marathons in the past, but I just got accepted (2012) into the NYC marathon (which was later canceled, as you know). I thought joining a running club would help me to train for my first marathon. I found ERC on the internet. I work in Montclair. I love the town of Montclair and thought it would be perfect. Well, as your tagline says, it is the most friendliest club. I have met such good friends! Everyone was so helpful during my marathon training, giving me advice, and to just always have someone to run with. I thought once the marathon was done, that I would have completed a life goal and then move onto another exercise activity. Well, the NYC marathon was canceled. However, I did not want to stop running! I enjoy the group runs. I enjoy running several times a week. I do enjoy races, but it’s the training part the I love, and I don’t want to stop yet! So joining ERC has been my favorite experience, because I wouldn’t have enjoyed running so much if it weren’t for this club!

3) What training methods have worked for you?

Training methods that have worked for me are following a training plan on-line and completing all the weeks of training for a specific race. For instance, I use Hal Higdon (for half marathons and now marathon) and it has helped me so much! It also helps when a few of your running friends are on the same plan so you have the same mileage to do, etc…I like, for Hal’s marathon Novice 2, that you run 4 days a week (one of them is a long run on the weekend) with one day of cross training. So you get 2 days of rest. I think that is certainly do-able and flexible with my schedule. So that’s why this training plan has worked for me. It’s not TOO strenuous (Even though the miles get higher) and I still feel like I can have a life outside of running! I also like following an on-line training plan because you’re following a plan toward a goal.

4) What are your current running goals?

My current goals (as I’ve mentioned in my last questions) is to run my very first marathon–NEW YORK CITY!!! This is now 2 years in the making (I trained for it last year, 18 weeks, but it was canceled) so here I am training again! I signed up for this race (the lottery way) 4 years ago, so I’ve been anxiously waiting for this moment! I have quite a few friends running this race, too, so we have been training together so it’s been really helpful. So my current goal is finish my very first marathon!

Glen Freyer

1. What is your favorite Essex Running Club experience?

I love running with the gang every Sunday at Grove. I remember the first time I got up to run at 7 and thought this is nuts. I’ll never do this twice. Here it is 3 years later and I’m still getting up every Sunday.

2. What is your favorite running experience?

Right now my favorite race is the 5th Avenue Mile. It’s so different from what I do every other day of the year. Somewhere about a quarter mile in I think I have to slow down, then I remember the whole race is only a mile! It’s fun to see what I can do year-to-year. I also love Mick’s 10-hill challenge and the other larger Essex runs — always a good time.

3. What training methods have worked for you? What advice would you give to a new runner?

Just keep doing it. Running is an idiot-proof sport, thankfully. The more you do it, the better you get. Changes happen over time, not over night, so take the long view and enjoy each session as much as you can. Improvement will come just by getting out there over days, weeks, months and years.

4. What are your current running goals?

Run a sub 3-hour marathon or die trying.

Photo Highlights

Photos on flickr

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