by John Longo, DPT
What was the genesis of the club?
The origins of the club, as legend has it, began one day in a coffee shop in Albany. Aidan Canavan and Charlie Ragone were looking for a way to continue their athletic-running careers. While there are plenty of good options out there in this region, there was a desire to put their mark on something.
Specifically, Aidan and Charlie viewed running as a competitive sport and lifestyle, and wanted to continue to take training and racing as seriously as they had in college.
What sets it apart for someone like me, who has been looking for a running club to align with for 3+ years, is that even as competitive and serious as I am, Charlie, Aidan, and everyone else involved is just as competitive and probably more talented than me.
Imagine a group of ~8 guys where the slowest or second slowest guy just ran a 2:35 marathon and 1:10 half within the last month? That’s pretty cool.
Charlie and Aidan also do a great job organizing group runs. There was another group I was loosely affiliated with and there was not much comradery and communication between the members. Facebook posts would go unanswered, the men lived all over the Capital Region (similar to Run Club.) but wouldn’t ever meet up for group runs - let alone coordinate groups for races. I can race and run on my own without being tied to a group - so that’s what I had decided to do without formally committing.
Who has been involved?
Charlie Ragone and Aidan Canavan are the main drivers of this group. They organize most of the long runs and reach out to the local talent who are in town like the Siena and UAlbany teams, some of the other runners like Evan Brennan, the 2022 Penn Relays 10k champion, Julian Franjieh of Syracuse, Aiden Tooker of Oregon Track club, and so on.
Ryan Udvadia, Isaac Menis, Matt JeanPierre and I have been regulars on “workout Wednesday” and helping out in workouts. We would also help out more if/when Aidan and Charlie need something, but largely they do all of the heavy lifting. Josh Lacey was also present for a lot of long runs, and we are hoping he has a speedy recovery from his most recent injury.
What are its goals?
Charlie, Aidan, and I have chatted about us enough where I think I can answer for them and produce something on par with their thoughts…
The goal would be to add something we personally felt the region was missing. There is already a very strong road racing club presence in the area, but not many club teams are offering or interested in track and cross country racing. The goal of Run Club is to be a competitive running group that's easy to manage, organize, and looks to provide others with an option to continue to go to indoor, outdoor, and cross country meets after college, in addition to road racing.
Currently, we are working on fundraising and growing the bank account to be able to travel to one of the “Trials of Miles” cross country meets in a place like Austin, Texas to compete against most competitive clubs across the country. That’s just one example - so speaking in gross generalities, I would say the origins of Run Club. sought to provide a more competitive training and racing experience with a focus on indoor and outdoor track and cross country in addition to road racing, to align people of similar interests and go to competitive meets outside of the Capital Region.
We’re also giving college kids an opportunity to train with friends and peers when they’re back in town and home for breaks. Hopefully, this makes college runners aware that groups like this exist for them to be a part of after their college running careers are over.
Stay tuned. You will be hearing much more about the Run Club!
John Longo has a doctorate in physical therapy. He has held a number of jobs in outpatient clinic settings and is now happily employed in East Greenbush working with the geriatric population. He also coaches varsity boys’ cross country and track at Ichabod Crane HS. He is passionate about running as is his wife Tricia. John ran professionally after college with Stotan Racing on a Nike-kit deal. He now is working with the Run Club to help them form a club designed for young runners out of college who want to continue in their sport at a high level.
Click on his picture to read more about and by him.
*1st 2 photos by Chris Bishop and John’s bio picture is created by him.