Photo by Corey Stark
By Nicole Aguiniga
It’s time to get off the couch and start running. Not right away,
of course. Marii Stark and Brenda Ruckman have created the Couch to 5K
Program based on their experience with the Couch to 5K app.
"The four of us planned to meet Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
mornings at 6 a.m. at Legacy Park to follow the Couch to 5K app. The app
takes you from a 20 minute walk/run workout to running a 5K in nine short weeks,” Stark said. “I
used the program to start running seven years ago and Brenda followed it
successfully one year ago.”
The idea for the program began when the Stark and Ruckman offered
to help to newbies to the running world get started using the same
program they had used.
The official Facebook page launched last May was open to runners of all ages and experiences to join them at Legacy in June.
“Some participants had done a little running previously but many were newbies," Stark said. "Experienced runners from my
Independence/Blue Springs/ Lee's Summit running group, "RUNbelievable"
on Facebook, joined us each day."
The experienced runners shared their own running testimonies,
before the run each morning, explaining how running impacted their lives
for the better, such as weight loss, no longer needing certain
medications, help with depression and addictions, and running beyond the
Throughout the summer, the Facebook page became a support group
for all who joined. They shared pictures of runs they did on vacations
and in the Kansas City area to keep everyone encouraged.
"The support group social atmosphere of the C25K program made it
something to look forward to, even on days when the runs felt hard. My
husband, Corey, came to many of our runs to catch photos of our fun and
progress," Stark said.
The program ended in early August when the C25K members
participated in a 5K at Legacy Park. Runners were greeted with
cheerleaders, signs, refreshments, and small medals at the finish line.
According to Stark, the real message of the group is that it is
never too late to start running. "I began running at age 45 and Brenda
began at 57."
While the C25K group is currently closed on Facebook,
RUNbelieveable is open to runners of all ages and experiences to help
them on their running journey.