I took over the marathon coaching position at Worldgate Sport and Health in the summer of 2000, and held it until I left the corporate gym world to start my own personal training business in the fall of 2006.
When I left, Worldgate had no coach to replace my position, so I offered to allow any of the runners who were interested, to continue running with me – for free. I promised an organized Saturday morning group run, and the occasional social activity, and nothing else. No training schedules. No Tuesday evening track workouts. No race related seminars. Just organized group runs, and a lot of fun. Basically, I volunteered to be the team mom.
About half of my Worldgate runners decided to join me and be part of that low keyed running group. After a month or so, Jerome, one of our runners, decided we needed a name, and fondly named us the Casola Cruisers.
Over the years we have shortened our name to The Cruisers, and as they say, “The rest is history.” We train together, run races together, and meet for the occasional post-run breakfast. We celebrate “big” birthdays, marriages, births of babies, and sending children off to college. We are there for each other for job layoffs, deaths of parents, and whatever obstacles life might throw our way. We join forces with Miles’ Run each June for a pancake run and we have an annual Christmas party. The Cruisers are truly some of my very best friends!
While most of us have been together for 15 years, we have recruited other runners along the running trail. Cruisers invite their friends to join us, some of those friends stay and others move on. It’s not an exclusive group, and we welcome new runners with open arms. We only ask that you love running, love to talk while running, and don’t mind stopping for the occasional photo!