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  • Running club sees changes in leadership

    The one thing we can be certain about in life is change. And although it can be difficult, I believe it opens doors to opportunities for growth and new experiences that otherwise might not have been attainable.

    In 2005, I stepped into the very big shoes of Marc Witkes and took over the presidency of Durango Motorless Transit running club. The last seven years have been extremely fulfilling and rewarding, but the time has come for a change. I am pleased to welcome Jill Badalati as my replacement.

    Badalati brings 15 years of running experience and involvement with running clubs from New Jersey to Texas, and she is optimistic about the future and continued growth of DMT.

    I would like to see DMT continue to be a solid community running group with more involvement from members at all fitness levels, she said.

    Badalati feels that increasing participation is a matter of changing the layout a bit to appeal to a wider audience and would like to see more participation in weekly workouts, races and volunteering.

    I enjoy being around fellow runners that share the same passion, I also feel challenged and inspired by others I meet in the club, Badalati said.

    Jigger Staby came on board in 2007 as administrative assistant in charge of membership. Last year, she began transitioning her position to Erica Michaud, who took over her duties in July 2012.

    I loved being the DMT zealot, Staby said. Every time I met someone who was new to town or didnt know about DMT, I would provide them the opportunity to connect with this wonderful group of active people.

    Stabys most rewarding accomplishment during her tenure was increasing membership from 239 to 383.

    My hope for the future is that we can sustain the group, attract younger runners and be effective role models as the nation struggles with obesity, she said.

    Michaud feels up to the challenge and enthusiastically jumped into her duties.

    I wanted to volunteer for an organization that I found a personal passion in, Michaud said.

    Moving here from Portland, Ore., in 2010 and a runner for 15 years, she had been spending much more time cycling because the trail options in Portland were limited.

    I moved here, and within a week, I dropped my bike and pulled on my running shoes, Michaud said. I was in heaven. Hours of isolation without seeing a soul. I love it.

    Michaud has a lot of ideas for maintaining growth and interest in running in Durango. Supporting local races and athletic organizations is high on her list as well as getting kids involved in outdoor activities to promote good health and help deal with chronic diseases.

    Both Badalati and Michaud join a dedicated group of board members who collectively have contributed many years of service to the running community. Treasurer Vic Rudolph and equipment manager Jim Nichols have been on the board since 2007, and Deven Meininger joined as website and event coordinator in 2010.

    With this solid group of veterans and newcomers, DMT is sure to flourish and continue to positively change and grow according to the needs and desires of the Durango running community.

    Reach Marjorie Brinton at runswim55@gmail.com.