One man inspires beginning runners to get up and get moving
UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The City of Utica is certainly a place for runners with premiere and elite events. The Boilermaker Road Race, which draws the world's best runners each July, and then there's America's Greatest Heart Run Walk.
If you're thinking about joining in the fun, it can be a little intimidating.
That's where Peter Angelini, the pied piper of beginning and returning runners, comes into the picture.
Peter is one of thousands of devoted, middle-of-the-pack runners in Central New York. But he wanted to do more than enjoy the sport for himself and improve his health.
He wanted to get people who were thinking about running off the couch and up to the start line of their first 5-K race.
What started last year as an informal meeting of less than ten people has grown exponentially.
Peter's Speterz is what he calls his group.
" I had a core group of people that started of about six to eight." Angelini said. "They had a great experience as they trained up to a 5k. They started talking about it to their friends and co workers and I started getting all kinds of book requests to join and emails and what not and it just expanded from about six to the group totals 65 now."
Tami White used to run, then had neck surgery. Every time she tried to get back into running, she overdid it and was sore.
"So Peter said 'why don't you join my group and we'll ease into this together?' so I did and now I'm going to run the ten mile race tomorrow," says White.
They group twice a week usually.
Not all 65 members run each time, but you'll see them taking part in various events for Heart Run/Walk.
Tami White says it's the perfect place for the beginning or returning runner to find the motivation they need to make it to the starting line, and the inspiration they need to make it to the finish line.
"He's always cheering you on. If you're behind, he waits for you, he'll walk with you, he'll run back and run back with you again if you're slow, he's just wonderful. This is totally his calling," says White.
For Angelini, the paycheck is two small words with big meaning.
"I live for those moments when people say 'thank you'"
If you're interested in joining Peter's Speterz, you can e-mail Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org