Unlike Motel 6, Washburn will not leave the light on for you.
“We’re turning into moles,” Dave Provorse said as he completed another lap.
The lights of Yager Stadium stay dark for the intrepid runners who trod there Thursdays at 6 a.m.
But that isn’t the most difficult hurdle the Washburn University Running Club has had to surpass.
In the spring of 2007, Provorse, who teaches the marathon training course at Washburn, asked Christina Roberts to become president of the running club at Washburn. It had been inactive for a year, but she enthusiastically accepted the offer.
“I just want more people to come out and run,” said Roberts.
Roberts has been president of the club for more than a year now and is trying to get the club back into the spotlight.
“We’ve been working for the past year to get sponsored,” said Roberts, a senior management and finance major. “And we finally got sponsored in the spring of last semester.”
This fall, as an officially recognized club of the school, the Washburn University Running Club has become active again with the help of Roberts as president and Provorse as the faculty sponsor. The club is even seeking funding from the Washburn Student Government Association.
“We have a marathon training class and [the runners] pay for a lot of things,” said Roberts about the class that Provorse instructs. “I think it would just be nice if we could get funding to help out students that are trying to become active in their own lives and create something in their lifestyle.
“That would help out, which would be really nice.”
The marathon training class is taught in the spring, with the ultimate goal of the students running in a marathon. Provorse said the club traditionally has been more active in the fall as a springboard to those who may end up taking the marathon running class. The club members usually run with that class, whether they are taking part in it or not.
Roberts says a wide-range of running abilities are present during group runs. Some have a six-minute mile pace while others may have a 10-minute mile pace.
“I would like it to be where people just feel comfortable to come out and run, no matter their level of running,” said Roberts.
Roberts also has big plans for the club beyond that of just the weekly running.
“We’re also trying to go to Nashville for the marathon next semester,” said Roberts.
The Country Music Marathon is April 25, and it is a prominent goal of the club if members can raise enough money and get funding from WSGA to make the trip.
The club meets for group runs at 6:30 a.m. on Mondays in the Petro Allied Health Center parking lot, and at 6 a.m. Thursdays on the track at Yager Stadium.
In addition to students and community members, Provorse said the club also has several faculty members.
“It’s just a really nice way for faculty and students to interact,” said Provorse. “It’s kind of neat to see your professor outside the classroom.”
That is, if you can see them through the darkness on the track.