Run Camp is back in 2021, and a supportive community of like-minded, goal-focused people can get you to the finish line of your first Kalamazoo Marathon.

If you’re thinking, “but I’ve only ever run a 5k,” I have two things to say. One: There’s no “only”- everything counts. Two: You got this!

I ran my first 5k in 2005 or 2006. It was my first “competitive” running event since I ran cross country in high school back in the ‘80s. (I wasn’t exactly competitive, I just enjoyed running around in the woods.) I was thrilled to find out that, had I not stopped to tie my shoe, I could have finished in the Top 3 in my age group.

From then on, I was hooked. A year later, I trained hard and ran my first half-marathon. As I was feeling the weight of the finisher's medal around my neck at the finish line, I can distinctly remember thinking, "there's no way I could turn around and run back to the starting line. You guessed it: the next year was my first ever 26.2-mile marathon race. Since then, I've run several 50k races and two 50-milers. Once you get it in you, you can't stop.

Maybe you're the kind of person who has dreamed about running a marathon or a half-marathon or completing your first 5k. Perhaps you've done a 5k and want to challenge yourself to a 10k run. Having people to support you can be invaluable. When you are accountable to someone, those days you don't feel like lacing up the shoes and running the miles are easier to conquer. Run Camp is the community you need to get motivated to get to the finish line.

The Borgess Run Camp Facebook community already has nearly 2,500 members who are committed to getting to the finish line together. Saturday morning group runs begin in February, leading up to the Kalamazoo Marathon and Borgess Run for the Health of It events at the conclusion of the 13-week training. With runs for all paces and all abilities, Run Camp can get you prepared for the starting line, and when you reach the finish, you will be a different person.

The races have been cancelled for the past couple of years, take a look back at some fun signs spotted along the course in 2017.

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Ascension Borgess Fitness Center to Undergo Renovations

These are the "before" photos, as Ascension Borgess Fitness is making some renovations and undergoing a makeover