Pacesetters set runners up for personal success

Posted on May 23, 2023, by

By Cynthia Faulkner

While runners often talk about the personal challenge of running a race – whether for distance or time – the flip side is the goals community runners create when they participate in local events.

PaceSetters is one such community – a supportive group of runners who join together to run, socialize and support the initiatives around them.

Started 38 years ago by Gloria West, PaceSetters is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that has grown to become the second-largest running club in the state of Wisconsin. Designed for all ages, experience levels, and even weather conditions, PaceSetters Running Club supports exercise-based endeavors in the community and has become the official training group for the Community First Fox Cities Marathon Presented by Miron Construction.

Training runs specifically designed for the Community First Fox Cities Marathon, the ThedaCare Half Marathon and the OSMS Relay Marathon begin each May and take place each Saturday from the last week of May until race weekend. This year, runners and walkers are invited to Crunch Fitness, 2500 S. Kensington Drive, Appleton at 7 a.m. to kick off their runs.

While these runs are free and open to the public, runners may also choose to become a PaceSetters member to enjoy benefits like discounts to local races and running stores, private tents at the start and finish line of the Fox Cities Marathon, monthly fun runs with meals after and active social media groups to continue engaging when the run is done.

For me, PaceSetters has helped keep my training interesting and helped me to build a network of wonderful people who enjoy the challenge as much as I do. I always encourage those wishing to get started to throw out their doubts, enjoy the journey, embrace the challenge and be consistent! If you listen and respect your body, you will be able to find a way to reach your goals and enjoy the excitement, well-being and happiness of it all. And here at PaceSetters, we’re excited to help you accomplish your personal goals!

Cyndi Faulkner is the president of PaceSetters Running Club. Pacesetters Running Club is designed to support runners and walkers in the community to help them achieve their goals. They set up mileage courses, provide snacks and water and encourage physical therapy. They offer monthly fun runs with food, friendship and tips and provide scholarship opportunities to local high school athletes.


Below are seven reasons to train with other people for your upcoming event. Join PaceSetters of the Fox Cities for marathon, half marathon and relay training runs and walks.

When: Every Saturday at 7 a.m. from May 27 – September 10 (rain or shine)

Start / Finish Location: Crunch Fitness, 2500 S Kensington Drive, Appleton

1. Accountability

When you train with other people, you are more likely to stay accountable to your training plan. It can be easy to skip a workout when you are training on your own, but it is much harder to do so when you have made a commitment to meet someone else for a run.

2. Motivation

Training with other people can also be motivating. It can be helpful to see how others are progressing with their training and to have someone to push you to reach your goals.

3. Safety

Training with other people can also be safer than training on your own. If you are running in an unfamiliar area or on trails, it is always best to have someone with you in case of an emergency.

4. Social Interaction

Training with other people can also be a fantastic way to socialize. If you are training for a marathon or half marathon, you will likely have similar interests as the people you train with and can make new friends while working towards a common goal.

5. Variety

Training with other people can also help to keep your workouts interesting. If you are running on your own, it is easy to fall into a rut and do the same route or workout every day. When you train with others, they can help mix things up and keep your workouts fresh.

6. Expertise

When you train with other people, you also have access to their expertise. If you are new to running, training with PaceSetters can be helpful as their club can give you tips and advice on everything from what shoes to wear to how to fuel for your runs.

7. Structure

Another benefit of training with PaceSetters is that it can help provide structure for your workouts, specifically your weekly long runs. PaceSetters organizes its routes to meet the recommended mileage increases leading up to race weekend, allowing you to focus on your pace, breathing and everything else to help you cross the finish line. 

Click here to learn more about 2023 training provided by PaceSetters of the Fox Cities.

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