Forward LENE is a new running group for the women of ACU. It was started by Kelti Rippenhagen, junior nursing major from Austin, as a way to make exercising an enjoyable and social activity.
What began as a simple conversation between Rippenhagen and fellow running enthusiasts has transformed into a team for female runners seeking community through exercise. People of every stage are welcome to join the initiative, running anywhere from 1 to 13 miles at practice. Different practices take place the first Saturday of every month for short distance runners, including sprints, drills and relay practice.
“The goal is to have a group of women that share a passion for running, while having the accountability, encouragement and bond that comes with being on a team,” said Rippenhagen.
According to Rippenhagen, members of the team are free to do their own thing while running. Everyone starts the run together around the Lunsford and/or surrounding neighborhoods. And whenever the girls get tired they’re welcome to slow down and head back to campus.
Also, there is no obligation to attend every Saturday practice or to run a specific distance. The group was created solely as a means of community and safety for any girl previously running through the neighborhoods alone.
Then team meets every Saturday morning at 9 a.m., and starts off by introducing the new members. Then someone reads from the daily devotional book Jesus Calling to help center the girls’ minds before they hit the pavement.
Laci Butler, senior nursing major from Sunnyvale, started going to practice while training for the Big D marathon in Dallas in April.
“I like the idea of making running something bigger than exercise,” said Butler.
Over time, Rippenhagen wants to sign up for marathons as a group, using the team foundation as a training resource.
Though Forward LENE is not an official club at ACU yet, they’re gaining members quickly. And if the team is recognized next year as a student group they hope to organize more practices throughout the week, along with different strategies of training.
Students interested in the group can email Rippenhagen at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and updates, or join the Forward LENE group on Facebook.
Comments are closed