Women in the city of Buffalo who are interested in getting out, getting active, and finding some new workout partners will be happy to learn that Buffalo has its very own run team, sponsored by Team LUNA Chix.
The Buffalo run team welcomes women of all ages and abilities to join, whether they are experienced marathoners or couch potatoes looking to make a fresh start. “It’s really about giving people a non-competitive environment to participate in something healthy and active and to learn,” said Mary Lou Hoffman, team leader of the Buffalo group. “Our biggest goal is to get women out, get them active and get them to run with us.”
Hoffman pointed out that frequently, women who want to start running may struggle because they are intimidated or lack the moral support of having someone to run with. Team LUNA Chix is there to instruct and support their new runners every step of the way. The team will help women who are looking for tips on how to accomplish running their first mile, a 5K, or even seasoned runners who are looking for people to train with for a marathon. “It’s really all about support,” Hoffman said. “You’ll always have someone to run with.”
The Buffalo team holds runs every week on Mondays. The regular run meeting site is the Amherst Audubon Town Park near the corner of Maple and Forest roads. On September 27, the team will be doing a track workout. Those interested in participating can check the team website for updates on the time and location.
The team’s official season runs from April though October 18. After that date, they plan on doing monthly off-season runs outside and some indoor workouts at a local gym throughout the winter. According to Hoffman, the group averages 20-25 runners a week and is still getting anywhere from four to eight new runners every week. Three or four team leaders are present at every run and they try to break up into different groups, based on varying level of experience.
The Buffalo run team is a subgroup of the national LUNA Chix organization. The team began when Hoffman, who was originally a cyclist, came across the call for new teams being advertised on the Clif Bar web site. While the organization also sponsors cycling, triathlon, and mountain biking teams, Hoffman chose to go with running. “To me running was the easiest thing to recruit,” she said. “All you need is sneakers.”
The team is comprised of seven team leaders. These women are volunteers who are responsible for keeping up a regular blog, distributing Luna Bar products, orchestrating the team’s fundraisers and doing the weekly runs.
In addition to its fitness mission, each LUNA Chix team is expected to help raise money for the Breast Cancer Fund. The minimum fundraising requirement for the team is $1000. The Buffalo chapter has already raised half of that amount, thanks to a nutrition clinic held earlier this year and a road run that was co-sponsored by Sneaker Advantage. On Thursday, September 30, the team will be hosting a wine and chocolate pairing party and factory tour at Choco-Logo to benefit the Breast Cancer Fund. “We are super grateful for the program Choco-Logo has and that it allows us to do such a cool event that helps us raise so much money,” said Hoffman. “We’re really impressed with how they’ve been able to help us so far.” This event has already sold out.
Thus far, the women of the Buffalo team have had a very positive experience working with their new runners and doing their part to raise money for the Breast Cancer Fund. “Luna is really happy with our participation and the impact that we have,” Hoffman said. Initially, the company was unsure about bringing a team to Buffalo because it was a small market, but the efforts of the team have convinced them otherwise. Luna has even sent bonus products to the team as a result of their hard work in the city.
For the team’s leaders, it’s really all about the women who have come out to join them. “The inspiration from the people who have come to run with us has been amazing,” said Hoffman. “They look to us as leaders, and what you get back from that without even realizing it is amazing.” She has enjoyed having the opportunity to work with a diverse group of women of all experience levels. “We’re always there to encourage them,” she said. “The women see us do that for them and they do that for each other.”
Women interested in getting involved with the LUNA Chix Buffalo Run Team can email email@example.com or check out the team website for more information. The site has a weekly run schedule posted as well as information on upcoming fundraisers. Or simply show up at one of the weekly runs to get started.