Amie Windsor, Geoffrey  Skinner, Joan Schwan, Sebastopol Runs

FASTER — Amie Windsor, Geoffrey Skinner and Joan Schwan will be leading runs for Sebastopol Runs, which is an offshoot of Sebastopol Walks.

Because it's more fun to run with friends

Looking for a running partner or maybe several of them? Then check out Sebastopol Runs, a new running group being spearheaded by Sebastopol resident Amie Windsor.

Sebastopol Runs is a spin-off of Sebastopol Walks, which has been leading themed walks — some long, some short —for 12 years.

Windsor said the folks behind Sebastopol Walks, including Councilmember Sarah Glade Gurney, contacted her and asked her if she’d like to start Sebastopol Runs.

“They reached out to me because they know that I like to run and that I have a passion for gathering people together,” said Windsor, a former Sonoma West Times & News reporter who now works for Social Advocates for Youth.

“They thought it would be really cool to add another component that would encourage people to exercise more and see more of the town,” she said. “That’s one of the great things about running — you really get to know where you live.”

Windsor said running in Sebastopol can be “kind of funky because our town is at the crossroads of two highways. So we thought it would be really cool to have these monthly runs, where you show people like ‘Hey, these are the best places to run in town that are safe, that are really fun, and you can do it together as a group.’”

Sebastopol Runs happens at the same time as Sebastopol Walks. Both start at 9 a.m. on the last Saturday of the month in the downtown plaza.

 “There are so many people who run in Sebastopol,” Windsor said, but noted that it’s sometimes hard for local runners to find friends to run with.

“In other towns, running communities often coalesce organically around a local sports or running shoe store,” she said.

She mentioned Healdsburg Running and Fleet Feet Sports in Santa Rosa, both of which sponsor several runs a month for all different levels of runners, from beginners to marathoners.

“We don’t have that kind of store in our town,” Windsor said. “So a lot of people in town drive over to Santa Rosa to run, but it’s a bummer to have to drive to go run, and we don’t have to do that. We have some awesome places to run and some awesome routes right here in Sebastopol.”

She mentioned the trails in Ragle Park and the Laguna de Santa Rosa and other routes that offer more elevation challenges.

“Sebastopol Runs is an opportunity for people to get to know each other and to run together,” she said. “I hope people come out for it.”

The next Sebastopol Runs is scheduled for March 28. The group will run out the West County Trail and back with a stop for coffee at the end.

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