John Bryant was pleasantly surprised to see a large turnout of 28 INB runners for the recent United Way 5K, especially because they all showed up to race despite terrible weather conditions.
“Everyone gave it their all, even though it was raining pretty hard for the majority of the race,” John recalled. “It’s not easy to run or walk three miles when it is down-pouring, but our group stuck it out because they wanted to finish the race, and most people stood out in the rain cheering others on as they finished.”
John served as a co-leader of INB’s Running Club for 2017, along with Sarah Enlow. This year’s Running Club recently wrapped up the race season, ending with a total of 46 participants.
Being a newer employee to INB – having joined the staff in 2015 – Jon Filbrun thought that participating in the Running Club for the first time would be a great way to meet employees in different departments and branches. He hadn’t run on a regular basis for three years, so he set two goals for himself this year.
“I knew I needed to get out and be more active, and having a group of people to do that with really makes it easy because there is more accountability,” said Jon, who works as a mortgage closing manager. “My first goal was to run a 5K in under 30 minutes (I ran a 5K at Scheel’s in 27:57), and the other was to run a mile in under 8 minutes (my best time was 7:45). Having people out there to support and push you to do better is great.”
Missi Searcy, operations officer, was excited to record her personal best time – also known as a PR – during a 5K this year, especially after dealing with tendonitis during last year’s season.
“In the off season, I decided to get my legs looked at and was able to get them back to working order. This year I stuck with the intervals, but was able to knock minutes off my time,” she said. “This was my third year in the Running Club, and the support system is something that I have grown to truly enjoy, since I have always run alone in the past.”
Members appreciated that the Running Club is not limited to bank staff. Justin Graves, mortgage funding specialist, joined for the second year, along with his wife Marissa.
“Having my wife as part of our team gave me that little extra competitive instinct, even though she would finish before me, because we finished,” he said. “It was great to have a running group sponsored by INB that encouraged spouses to be part of the team, and Marissa really enjoyed how people cheered everyone on and no one would leave before the others finished.”
The Running Club is already planning for next year and exploring new ideas, such as the possibility of extending the season or trying different races. The entire team strived for improvement this year and celebrated when personal and group goals were met.
“The best thing about this group is the enthusiasm people show in bettering themselves, and also supporting other members in reaching their goals,” John said. “Nearly every person improved their times when we compared mile times from the beginning of the season to the end of the season. A lot of these times were improved by several minutes! I was extremely impressed with our team this year.”
The Running Club even took on a new nickname this year: Sprinters Walkers and Trash Talkers. Or, S.W.A.T.T. for short.
Whatever the team is called, that’s exactly what the runners found most valuable: the teamwork.
“When you are a walker, like I am, it can feel disappointing to be last in the race,” Justin said. “But when you have teammates like John Bryant and Jon Filbrun who would come back to where I am and finish the race with me and to give me that last burst of energy, that shows what kind of team we are.”