Inside the Dick Pond Athletics store along Randall Road in Carpentersville, you'll find everything a runner could need -- including plenty of inspiration and expertise.
The store recently started its second Walk 2 Run program of the year, and will begin a third Sept. 10. It is a similar program run by Dick Pond Athletic stores throughout the Chicago area, including the one in St. Charles.
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Because of the program, people who've never really been runners before have trained together and run a 5K with the guidance of Dick Pond staff members who are more experienced runners.
People of all fitness levels are welcome to participate in the free program, where they train over time to run 30 minutes continuously, Carpentersville store manager and program leader Karie Stringer said.
"The Walk 2 Run is definitely geared more toward the beginning runners who are really just trying to get into running and don't know a whole lot about it," Stringer said.
When they start, they only run for a minute at a time for a total of six minutes.
Stringer said during the 10-week program, they break the program into five segments of six minutes each.
At the beginning, they do five minutes of walking and one minute of running in each segment.
The group usually leaves the Randall Road area store and heads west behind Woodman's grocery store.
Each week they decrease the walking by 30 seconds and increase the running. By the end, she said, they should be running for 30 minutes straight.
The group meets at 6 p.m. Mondays, and then members encouraged to do the session two more times on their own during the week.
"They just need to come on out and we will help them get started," Stringer said. "We have one of our staff members go out with them and time them so they know when to walk and when to run."
In addition to the runs, the program also has guest speakers come and talk to the group. And then the group plans to run a 5K together. This session, the group is planning to do the Sunset 5K Aug. 31 in Lake in the Hills.
Once the group graduates, Stringer said, the store also offers fun runs at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays.
For information, contact Karie at (847) 783-0701 or email@example.com.
Nights out: For those looking for some fun close to home in the evenings, the Claddagh Irish Pub along Randall Road in Geneva has some events coming up.
Every Wednesday from 7 to 11 p.m., the pub hosts an open mic night. Trivia Night follows it Thursdays from 8 to 10 p.m.
On Fridays, Aug. 10 and 17, the pub will be home to a performance by the Wind Gypsys band.
And then, on Sept. 15, it's hosting a "Halfway to St. Patrick's Day" event. That night there will be live music, Irish dancers and more.
• Amy Williams' column covers all the news of business along the Randall Road corridor from South Elgin to Batavia. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (847) 894-5036.