Courtesy photo Rain Bear runners from left include Jill Guss, Audrey Thornburg, Arrow Brown, Beau Brown, Caroline Brown, and Jessica DiBarri.

Courtesy photo Rain Bear runners from left include Jill Guss, Audrey Thornburg, Arrow Brown, Beau Brown, Caroline Brown, and Jessica DiBarri.

RUNNING: Training classes help people get ready for local races

PORT ANGELES — Through their Community Partnership with North Olympic Healthcare Network, Peninsula Adventure Sports and Rain Bear Running Club are excited to announce a series of community “Couch to 5K” training classes for 2022.

Classes will be held throughout the year, with each training schedule aligning with a local 5K event in which participants can try out their new skills. Current classes are being geared to the Railroad Bridge Race in Sequim on April 23.

The next round of classes that people can sign up for begins on May 7, just in time for the North Olympic Discovery Marathon set for June 4-5.

“We have been fortunate to find a great partnership with North Olympic Healthcare Network, as our missions align so well” said Lorrie Mittmann of Peninsula Adventure Sports. “North Olympic Healthcare Network’s vision is a healthy, thriving and inclusive community supported and sustained by effective collaboration and leadership, and they follow this vision in everything they do. Our team here at Peninsula Adventure Sports aims to create healthy and fun events that also benefit the community by creating partnerships, enhancing tourism, and boosting the local economy, and we feel our organizations, as well as Rain Bear Running, are a great fit for each other.”

Rain Bear specializes in coaching new and returning runners in a non-competitive format. The training programs can be customized so that anyone can participate, regardless of fitness level or experience.

“I’ve tried running before and hated it. I was always intimidated and didn’t know how to do it right,” said Rain Bear runner Audrey Thornburg.

Rain Bear’s focus is to tailor its program to each individual and start slow. Each class session begins with instruction on a different running-related topic, with tips to make the running experience better. When people run in a group, they learn to focus on the positive aspects of exercise, such as connecting with the community and enjoying the outdoors, instead of focusing on the exertion. Runners are supplied with a customized training schedule to keep them active between the weekly Saturday group sessions.

“Mostly, people join Rain Bear for the accountability and fun,” said running coach Carmen Geyer. Each four-week group class culminates with one of the Run The Peninsula races (such as the NODM) and participants in the training group receive a discount code to register for the races.

“The Couch to 5K program is designed to gradually move participants from a sedentary lifestyle to an active lifestyle and reinforce the mental and physical benefits of exercise,” said NOHN Chief Executive Officer Dr. Michael Maxwell. “We’re proud to partner with Peninsula Adventure Sports and Rain Bear Running because they know how to make training a positive experience.”

NOHN and Peninsula Adventure Sports offer special pricing of just $20 for these four-week training classes.

“We want to keep it affordable and make sure there aren’t any barriers for people who want to join,” Mittman said.

If people are interested in joining, they can email rainbearrunning@gmail.com for more details.

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