When outsiders move to Laramie, they often import bits of the culture they are coming from. For some, this means opening a Thai restaurant. For others, it means hosting sweat lodge ceremonies.
For Amy Bare of Colorado Springs, Colorado, it means starting up a downtown running club — open to all and replete with beer, pasta and rewards for sticking with the program.
“I’m probably way more excited about it than I should be, but I just think it’s a big thing,” she said. “When we moved, that was one of the things I was kind of looking for and there wasn’t anything like that.”
Starting April 3, the nonprofit club will host a 5k run every Tuesday — one that snakes through the historic downtown area.
Participants will be able to sign up and start running anytime from 5-6 p.m.
“We just want to help promote the growth for downtown Laramie,” Bare said. “You know, downtown Laramie has been one of the downtowns that other towns in Wyoming want to copycat to revitalize. And there’s a reason why — we have a good, solid, supportive community, and if we can add to that, that’s good.”
Lovejoy’s Bar and Grill is supporting the club and will offer discounted beer, as well as a $10 pasta and salad dinner, to participants on run days. Participants who run 10 races will receive a free shirt for the feat, and in years to come, Bare said she hopes to award 50- and 100-run shirts as well.
“It’s kind of a badge of honor,” she said.
Bare added with so much going on and so much interest from the community — 60 people have already expressed interest and Bare is aiming for even more — the weekly event should be fun for anyone, from children to University of Wyoming students to moms pushing strollers.
“It’s a reason to get out,” she said. “You might not usually go run at 5 p.m. on Tuesday with the wind blowing, but if all your friends are going to be there and you get a discounted beer, you’ll probably show up.”
Bare and her husband, Tony, own Bare Physical Therapy on First Street. There, she runs the business side of things, as well as fitness classes specifically designed for mothers. She is helping some train for a half-marathon, and this group will use the Tuesday 5k runs as practice.
The Downtown Running Club is based on a larger club in Colorado Springs sponsored by Jack Quinn’s Irish Pub and Restaurant, which would sometimes draw 1,500 runners, Bare said.
“I taught stroller classes in Colorado,” she said. “We’d take our babies and we’d do our 5k run pushing our strollers, and then we’d go have a beer and eat dinner as a big group after. It’s just a fun, social thing.”
Bare said she is shooting for 100 participants for the first run and hopes the club will increase in size throughout the summer, as well as in future years. She said a big event such as this — on what is otherwise a quiet weekday — could help out the downtown businesses.
“Typically, towns that have a downtown community, that have any kind of population, they have something like this,” Bare said. “And I feel like with Laramie’s downtown being a pretty active downtown, even if it’s a small town, it should have something.”