Running groups offer support in reaching health goals
Whether you’re a marathon runner or have yet to run a 5k, a group can motivate you to stay active.
Ken Taylor is a lifelong runner and educator. In 2012, he became co-owner of the The Running Place in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania. Ken leads the store’s Monday running group, which ranges from 35 to 60 runners each week.
“The group attracts people from all walks of life,” he says. “The one thing that ties us together is running.”
Kate Fonshell, Ken’s wife, is also passionate about empowering people through running. She teaches a class for beginners at The Running Place. The eight-week program ends with the group participating in a 5k race together.
“It’s hard to keep going when you’re on your own,” she says. “But we give the people the support to do it.”
Kate ran competitively through her mid-30s, including the 1996 Olympics. Now, she runs for wellness, both physical and mental. She loves showing people who’ve never ran before that they can do it.
As running becomes more popular, cardiac emergencies become more common
As running continues to grow in popularity, heart-related emergencies have become more common at road races. Ken feels strongly that as a small business, The Running Place should play an active role in supporting the health and well-being of its community. That’s why he teamed up with CPR Ready to offer life-saving Hands-Only CPR training to the running group.
“You can’t judge a book by its cover,” Ken says. “A person might look physically fit on the outside, but what’s inside is what matters — what’s happening in your heart and in your gene pool.”
Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, regardless of age or physical fitness. If someone suddenly becomes unresponsive, act fast. Call 9-1-1 and begin Hands-Only CPR. Find out if there is an AED nearby to shock the heart back into rhythm.
Pushing hard and fast at the center of the chest will keep blood flowing to vital organs. This can double or even triple a person’s chance of survival while you wait for paramedics to arrive.
About CPR Ready
CPR Ready is a local initiative to improve survival rates for sudden cardiac arrest by increasing access to Hands-Only CPR and AED training. CPR Ready is made up of a variety of stakeholders including: the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, Chester County EMS, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the CPR/AED Public Awareness and Training Network, The Foundation for Delaware County, The Health Care Improvement Foundation, Independence Blue Cross, the Independence Blue Cross Foundation, Penn Medicine, Philadelphia Fire Department, and the School District of Philadelphia.