OCEANSIDE — For the past 15 years, an Oceanside woman’s club has helped bring the joy of running to anyone seeking a healthier lifestyle.
Known as the Oceanside Trotters in Training, Kathy Kinane, 63, provides a casual atmosphere to introduce running as a way to improve mental and physical health, socialize and learn how to run a 5K race.
The group is free and meets at 5:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday by the fountain at the Oceanside Civic Center. The group consists of runners, walkers and joggers and anyone is welcome to join.
“I wanted to find a way to get people to downtown Oceanside,” Kinane said of her motivation to start the club. “Of course now, running on The Strand is one of the most popular things to do.”
Kinane’s experience with running goes back to her teenage days after winning her first race. After running in college, Kinane, who holds a master’s degree in exercise physiology, went on to coach track and field and cross country teams for three years at UC Santa Barbara.
The Oceanside resident later ran in the marathon at the 1984 U.S. Olympic Trials. Kinane’s devotion to running has been a lifelong endeavor and the Trotters in Training club is her way of giving back to the community.
Kinane eases the new runners into the program with the interval method to help avoid burnout and injury. The technique is also a way for them to have fun and see results faster than other training methods.
For example, her interval method consists of running to one light pole, then walking to another and repeating the process, allowing beginning runners to find their rhythm and build stamina before trying other workouts.
“I drive from Encinitas twice a week to run with this club,” said 56-year-old Vicky Weinzierl. “Kathy has been a true inspiration, and a wealth of information with anything health and exercise related. Kathy has given me solid advice to improve my running for the last two-and-a-half years, and to condition my body for my annual hiking trip. Also, the group members are like a family, and in that they are supportive and encouraging of one another regardless of age or experience.”
Currently, there are approximately 45 people in the group and a dozen who attend each training session, which consists of making their way across the city’s relatively flat streets to the harbor or down The Strand, both showcasing the views and sunsets from the nearby beaches.
But as summer quickly fades away, Kinane starts to lead the group in preparing for Oceanside Turkey Trot, started in 2006, and has been an annual tradition ever since.
“It’s just a fun and laid back atmosphere,” Kinane said.