running club collageThe INB Running Club, which began several years ago, is expanding rapidly as new members jump on board for the accountability, regular exercise and the simple enjoyment of getting to know fellow employees better.

For Sarah Enlow, one of the bank’s IT Help Desk Specialists, running has become a passion over the last couple of years.

“Throughout that time, I’ve had to deal with my share of minor injuries and roadblocks along the way, so I know how tough it can be to get motivated and stay motivated while navigating through all the aches and pains,” she said. “My hope is to be able to impart some of what I’ve learned, and I’m really excited to see the progress the team is going to make this year.”

Sarah and John Bryant have stepped up this year to serve as team captains for the Running Club, which has divided itself into two sections for the convenience of its runners. One group meets in the morning and another in the evening.

“I participated last season, and I love the support that everyone gives each other no matter what their abilities are, so I will do anything I can do to help keep this program going,” John said. “I am very passionate about fitness in general, and I loved the fact that INB offers this opportunity to their employees and their families. A lot of companies wouldn’t give the same type of support to a program like this that INB does.”

When the running club first started, INB brought on local, former Western Illinois University running stand-out Wes Wooden to guide the group, which began meeting several times a week and joining in local races together. Wes was a two-time selection to the Mid-Continent all-conference team and voted MVP and team captain during his time at Western, and in 2010, he finished a personal best at the Chicago Marathon with a time of 3 hours, 7 minutes.

Being part of a team instills dedication – from the most beginner levels to the advanced runners, Wes said.

“Group accountability is huge. It is so much easier to work hard with others than do so alone. It is also so much more fulfilling to celebrate achievements with others than alone,” Wes said. “Team members pick each other up when they are down and help each other be the best person that they can be. The INB group is positive and always willing to try something that may be a little out of their comfort zone; there is no better feeling than watching everyone cross the finish line!”

The INB Running Club kicked off this year’s season in early May, and interest continues to climb.

“Last season, we had around 35 people, and this season we have 40 or 45 so far. We do still have some people joining too, so we might approach 50!” John, a lead loan specialist, said. “I think it will only continue to grow and be supported by INB because it fosters positive working relationships and is an overall benefit to employee health.”

Sarah said she’s excited to see what this season brings after witnessing so much success from the club last year.

“We had a few team members participate in their first 5K last year, and as a team, we were able to share in celebrating quite a few very memorable PRs (personal records),” she said. “With the enthusiasm and encouragement everyone has already shown this year, I know we’re going to have another really great season!”