COLUMBIA — Shawn Goertz resorted to running when he tried to quit drinking and smoking.
He tried meditation but found he was not the kind of person to be so quiet. He began running in 2008 and developed it into a habit. He calls running his "moving meditation."
"I know I'm better when I run, not always physically but virtually, mentally, everything," he said.
"Running has brought me a lot of joy and peace in my life," he said. "It helped me find myself, so I want to share that."
Running could be a good idea for freshmen who become stressed as they face a new environment, or just want to ensure quality sleep. Researchers John Greist and Peter Salmon found that exercise is essential in the maintenance and restoration of physical and mental health, and that aerobic exercise has positive effects and protects against stress and depression.
Whether you are an experienced runner and want to continue this rewarding habit, or you want to embark on a new running path, here are some organizations and groups you can join:
MEMBERSHIP RUNNING GROUPS
Mizzou Running Club: The club was established in 2008 and now has more than 100 members. They run every Monday to Friday at 4 p.m. A smaller group meets at 7 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday at Stankowski Field.
Annual membership cost: $30
Columbia Track Club: Columbia Track Club was founded in 1968. Runners usually gather every week Tuesday through Thursday and on weekends. Heart of America Marathon is its principal event and the fourth-oldest 26.2-miler in the country.
Annual membership cost: $20, covering all family members
Columbia Multisport Club: Founded in 2002, the Columbia Multisport Club focuses on triathlons, which combine swimming, cycling and running. There are now more than 500 members. The average age is 40 years old. Both beginners and specialists of all ages are welcome to join. Organized weekly and monthly group training is provided. Members gather regularly Monday through Thursday.
Annual membership cost: $35 for individuals and $60 for families
Free running groups
Tuesday Thursday 5:30 AM Running Group: The group departs from the Forum entrance to the MKT trail. All pace groups are welcome.
A sampling of upcoming fall runs
- When: 7 a.m. Aug.2
- Where: Mill Creek Elementary School, 2200 W. Nifong Blvd.
- Cost: Free for the Columbia Track Club members, $3 for non-members
2. Epic Mud Run
- When: 11:59 a.m. Aug. 31
- Where: Midway Auto Truck Plaza, 6401 U.S. 40
- Cost: $55 plus (Cost depends on registration time.)
- When: 6 a.m. Sept. 1
- Where: Hampton Inn & Suites Columbia, 1225 Fellows Place Blvd.
- Cost: $45 (Cost depends on registration time.)
- When: 7 p.m. Sept. 19
- Where: Cosmopolitan Park, 1615 Business Loop 70 W
- Cost: $25
- When: 7 a.m. Sept. 27
- Where: Stephens Lake Park, 2001 E. Broadway
- Cost: $50 for 10K, $60 for half marathon
6. Komen Mid-Missouri Race for the Cure 5K run/walk
- When: 8 a.m. Oct. 4
- Where: Peace Park, MU
- Cost: $30
7. Rock Bridge Revenge 50K/25K/7-mile trail runs
- When: 7 a.m. for 50K, 8 a.m. for 25K and 7 mile Oct. 4
- Where: Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, 5901 Missouri 163
- Cost: $35 for 25K and 50K run, $25 for 7 mile run
- When: 8 a.m. Oct. 11
- Where: 800 Moss St.
- Cost: $40 for individuals, $30 for team members (4 or more)
- When: 8 a.m. Oct. 18
- Where: The race starts and finishes at Albert Oakland Park, 1900 Blue Ridge Road, but follows the Bear Creek Trail.
- Cost: $40