When Chris Galloway moved to Indianapolis, he needed a way to meet new people, enjoy a little healthy competition, and find a fitness accountability partner. Joining Indy Runners in 2005 allowed him to fulfill all those goals, plus a few extra he hadn’t counted on.
Today, Chris is the vice president of Indy Runners and leads the newly-organized Fishers branch of the organization.The other four branches are located throughout Indy in Broad Ripple, Butler, Fort Harrison, and downtown Indy.
Indy Runners started as a way for local runners to train for the 500 Festival Mini Marathon. Today, as Galloway says, “We’re not just for marathon runners. We welcome people who are running any distance and want to get new people involved.” The organization is open to runners of all levels and with varied goals, as evidenced by their motto, “A place for every pace.”
The group has a two-pronged training program, focusing on the following goals:
- Winter/Spring Mini Training Program. This is Indy Runner’s signature training program that started in 1984. Club members train for the 500 Festival Mini Marathon and also for the Geist Half Marathon.
- Summer/Fall Marathon and Half Marathon Training Program. This training program helps its members get ready for the Indianapolis Marathon and the Monumental Marathon or any other marathon.
For Galloway, the group is all about helping people realize their goals and pushing them to improve. “Our training programs will graduate you to higher training levels,” he said. “We try to pair people up with those who run at a similar distance and pace.”
One of Galloway’s goals for the Fishers group is to increase the number of people in the club, thereby increasing the number of training levels. Currently, 100 people are registered for the group. Between 10–40 people show up for each run, depending upon the season and weather. The majority of the people are running a mile somewhere in the 7:30- to 10:30-per-mile training pace.
As a chiropractor, Galloway appreciates the health benefits that running brings to his life. He cites a study done in the Naperville, IL school system in which exercise is having remarkable results on students’ scores. “Running stimulates the pre-frontal cortex of the brain, which is involved in motor activity and executive function,” Chris said. In addition, running releases endorphins and causes an increase in dopamine and serotonin.
Through his years volunteering as a pacer and leader with Indy Runners, Chris most enjoys helping others reach their goals. He has seen people progress immensely over the course of a few months, including himself. “Running is just part of my day. If I don’t do it, I don’t feel like my brain is functioning right, and I can’t keep my mood regulated,” he said. “Running is almost like its own subculture.”
Dues for the Indy Runners are $20 a year for an individual and $25 a year for families. To join the club, call Chris at 812-583-2278 and then go to the website at www.indyrunners.org to fill out the forms. You can also view the complete race calendar and running schedule online.