Ad Astra Running co-owner J. Jenkins has been immersed in the running culture since he was a child. When he opened his first running supply store in Lawrence in 2015, health and safety were his greatest concerns. His store lead to the start of Ad Astra running club last October.
Since its formation, the club has added members at each bi-weekly run held on Mondays and Thursdays. In 2017, Jenkins and his club have reached a terrific milestone, marking over 50 runners so far despite the winter weather conditions.
“You know it’s kind of a double edged sword this time of year because you do have the New Year’s crowd,” Jenkins said. “But then it is a little bit colder so the attendance at some of our runs can be a little depressed for that reason. But we do get a good number of people.”
Ad Astra is only one of six running clubs in Lawrence. The group with the greatest jump is the Trail Hawks. President Matt O’Reilly said his running club has over 150 members and added 70 in the past year. The Trail Hawks group specializes in trail runs along Clinton Lake and the Kansas River Trails.
Jenkins says running with a club is motivating and allows for healthy relationships and lifestyles. He also expects more avid runners to attend the new club once the sun breaks and Spring hits.