October 1, 2014

Medina
Mostly cloudy
69°F

Couple turn love of running into growing club

The expression “runner’s mentality” is thrown around a lot, but it does take a different kind of person to run a 10K or just go out for a morning run around the block.

Wadsworth’s Joe and Lisa Herbert embody the term and turned their love of the sport into forming the Medina County Road Run-ners.

The non-profit group is comprised of runners of every level, ability and age and has grown from just a handful of participants when it was founded in 1997 into a club of more than 100.

“Some join to be around people who don’t think they are nuts to run,” Lisa joked. “Others join for social rea-sons or to support the sport.

“The club is a great way to network people and we have members from any background you can imag-ine.”

Running was nothing new to Lisa, who ran with her father Stephen during her childhood, nor to her husband Joe, who was a standout football player and sprinter at Highland High School.

The Herberts’ passion and desire to stay in shape, along with promoting a healthy lifestyle while oper-ating Wadsworth Chiro-practic, led to the club being formed.

“I forgot how much I enjoyed it,” Lisa admitted. “We’re both type-A person-alities, so after I did my first 5K, I think my husband wasn’t going to have his wife outdo him and he started tagging along.

“We both rediscovered that love and Medina didn’t have a running group, so with us being both chiropractors and treating athletes, we just put an ad in the paper and it took off from there.”

The club kicked into high gear after the birth of the couple’s second child — 6-year-old Jackson — when Lisa was determined to lose some weight. The Cape Cod, Mass., native knew the answer was running.

“I would say that I was jogger, but after my second child, I had a lot of weight to lose,” said Lisa, a top 10 Miss American placer in 1992 as Miss Massachusetts. “But there is a fine line between a jogger and a runner and I knew that running was the fastest way to get off the weight.”

She wanted to get healthy and be there for her sons Jacob and Jackson.

Her devotion to the sport continues to grow. In Sep-tember, Lisa will celebrate her 40th birthday on the same day that she competes in her fifth marathon in Akron.

That same kind of drive has helped Road Runners grow throughout the years.

Three years ago the club started its own event, the Double Trouble Road Race, which will be held Sunday. A 10K and 5K relay will be held, starting at Second Sole in Medina, with cash pay-outs to the male and female 10K winners.

“It is called the Double Trouble, because it is a double-loop course,” Lisa said. “We chose a 10K, because it’s a distance favored by more competitive runners while the 5K race distance is less intimidating to the average runner, so it helps to keep our participant numbers up.”

The group, which is a lo-cal chapter of the Road Runners Club of America, has meetings once a month and holds group runs a couple times a week — one on Tuesdays on the track at Medina’s Claggett Middle School and another one at a Hinckley Township trail.

“We have members that are ranked nationally and internationally and we have people that walk or jog and are happy to complete one mile,” she said. “We believe that all efforts deserve re-spect. Our more seasoned runners serve as a good resource for our newbies.”

Several Boston Marathon qualifiers, notably Medina County Sports Hall of Famer and ultra marathoner Connie Gardner, who is ranked both nationally and internationally, are members of the club.

Other runners like Dan Horvath, Lisa Herbert and Ladd Clifford — who ran in a 24-hour race logging more than 100 miles in one day —are just a couple of the other accomplished athletes who belong to the club.

For more information on the club and how to get involved, visit www.medinacountyroadrunners.com.

Contact Dan Brown at sports@medina-gazette.com.