Every Wednesday night a group of runners meet behind Fazoli's to runn a challenging 7 mile out and back route through some of the hilly Valparaiso sub divisions with a turnaround at Rogers-Lakewood Park. They have run this route every Wednesday night without exception for many years. The group run attracted some of the areas fastest most competitive runners which caused the pace of the run to drop from a casual fun run to a hard tempo run. This attracted runners that were either fast or wanted to be faster.
The group began meeting together not only on Wednesday nights, but also several other times during the week including Sundays for challenging long runs on the ridge at the Indiana Dunes.
About 5 years ago the group decided to create a running team. They picked up Fazoi’s as the first team sponsor and bought team uniforms to wear at the local races. The team also started entering team events at RIngin’ In Spring, Tower Run, Popcorn Panic among others. From then through 2008 the team continued to race together and train together. In 2009, loosing Fazoli’s as a sponsor, the team decided to change the team name from Fazoli’s to the Ridge Runners paying homage to one the favorite team group run routes. They created a web site and became a little more organized. The team won several team events in 2009 including the Indianapolis Mini Marathon team event.
In 2010 the team became part of the Brooks ID program and added a Facebook page which we use to motivate and keep runners and fans of running informed of everything going on in the running community.
For 2011, the team has decided to not have any sponsors and get back to the true purpose and focus of the original group of runners. That is to run and race together for the pure love of the sport. The Ridge Runners have an open door policy and invite and encourage all runners to join them in their training runs. Especially runners who want to get faster and understand the importance and benefits of group training. Although all runners are invited to the training runs, those that train consistently with the group and share a passion for running and racing and strive to reach their full potential may be asked to be part of the Ridge Runners racing team.
There is no one leader or coach of the Ridge Runners team. Members just step up at different times to help manage the team as a group. Everyone contributes in their own way.