With the sun starting to make a regular appearance, there’s no better time than now to be a STAAR.
STAAR, or Sooke Trail And Road Runners, is a local running club that started up over 10 years ago. Along with four others, former club president and secretary Jackie Eddy is one of the original members and also helped found the group.
“We formed a club in 1999,” said Eddy. We had our very first meeting with probably 25 people at the table.”
The club was created to unite those with a love for running, promote the sport and for general fitness. Initially, it even held its own competition.
“We used to host a race each year but the numbers fell off and we just abandoned it. There’s just so many races around,” said Eddy.
Now, members can join any one of a slew of local races on the Island like the Subaru International Triathlon this weekend that Eddy and her husband Danny are participating in. There is an optional $20 a year membership fee which helps pay for entry into such events, and also subsidizes costs for team apparel like shirts and jackets.
STAAR meets for runs Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 6 a.m., and Saturdays at 9 a.m. in front of Odyssey Fitness except for Tuesday where the group meets at SEAPARC Leisure Complex.
“We have all different routes,” she said. “Depends on what the group feels like.”
That means a jog can be anything from going the length of Sooke River Road to up Broom Hill. Workouts will make participants sweat but are not overly intense, said Eddy.
“We mostly just run for fun.”
Everyone is welcome to show up to a meet with a pair of running shoes on — the club is diverse with about 22 paid members ranging in age 20s to 70s. Runs are largely self-directed, although some beginner pointers are offered.
“It’s great if you’re new to running and you think you really like it, and you probably don’t know too much about races and different things.”