Running program encourages people to get fit

DECATUR, Ill. (WAND)— Getting healthy takes a lot of work, and having a support system makes the challenge easier.

Tracy Hewitt knew that, and that’s why she created the Learn to Run program.

“People I’ve met through this program we really consider each other family," she said. "We have each other’s backs. Support is the most important thing in athletics because if you don’t have people cheering you on telling you to believe in yourself it is really hard to make that accomplishment happen. The memories we’ve all created during the program you just can’t duplicate it.”

Hewitt says a program like this once changed her life.

“I actually did this program when I was broke and overweight I wanted to get into shape and I found a little piece of paper in a grocery store. Then years later I brought this to the running club saying lets get some more people running.”

In this club, there have been many success stories, including one woman who used this training as a kickstart to her healthy life style.

“I’ve never been able to run, not even the program in high school, and I had a coworker ask me and why not? I’m a five-year cancer survivor so this is just a kickoff to get it going.”

The successes people have had as spread throughout the community, expanding the program to new heights.

“(In the) first year, we had about 60 people signed up at 15 people graduated," Hewitt added. "Now this year, we have well over 45 in attendance and more finishing the program, which is incredible.”

She also goes on to say how watching people overcome obstacles is her favorite part. 

“The best part about this program is the first day they’re looking at all of us like I can’t run," she said. "I’m not going to be able to do that. Then over time seeing like I can do this. I can actually do this and by today they’re running 30 minuets straight and it’s so cool.”

“I can not believe that ten weeks later I’m running thirty minutes compared to the first two minutes and I thought I was going to die," another runner said. 

To join the Learn To Run group check out its Facebook page at Learn To Run Decatur, IL.