Ultrarunner Scott Jurek spoke with members and guests at the Fort Wayne Running Club’s annual banquet at Parkview’s Mirro Center for Research and Innovation on Sunday.
The club also honored 29 members with Ironrunner awards for completing all 15 points series races, Homestead’s Brayden Law and Carroll’s Madison Fruchey as high school runners of the year and announced its name change from the Fort Wayne Track Club.
"It’s just nice to have big groups of people that come out and run every year and come to the events that we put on," club president Casey Shafer said. "It’s also nice because we only have five races we put on as a club and everyone submits races that they want to be part of the points series.
"For having as many submissions that we get every year and trying to select the best of the best, it’s pretty cool that many people want to be a part of that."
Jurek was also on hand to sign copies of his book "Eat & Run" and go on a public group run, a first for the club’s banquet guests.
"Just in the last 24 hours, the Fort Wayne community has been phenomenal," Jurek said. "You can really feel like running is a part of this community and the energy around it.
"It’s great to see so many folks from new runners to people who have been doing marathons and people who have been doing ultramarathons. You can really tell that running is a special part of Fort Wayne and it’s great to see that."
The group run went around the IPFW campus and over to the Plex North’s cross country course. With a little bit of terrain variation on a shorter run, Jurek can definitely tell he’s not in Colorado anymore.
"There’s definitely more oxygen here, I’ll say that much," he said, laughing. "We got a little bit of mud, a little bit of trail and a little bit of grass and a little bit of pavement so it’s just a little mix of everything here."
The banquet is Jurek’s first time in Indiana.
"I always enjoy coming out to running groups like the Fort Wayne club because people all need to start somewhere in terms of running," he said. "And we all pass that on to others and inspire others so I feel that it’s a great part of what I get to do as somebody who’s been successful.
"The real gift I can give is pass along what I’ve learned and share that wisdom and knowledge."
Notes: Bill Harris was given the Spirit of Running Award and Cirrus ABS was awarded the Golden Shoe Award. ... The Fort Wayne Running Club kicks off its next points series with the Fanny Freezer at 2 p.m. Saturday at Shoaff Park.