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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, April 16, 2009

Runners relax by taking to the trails at Tawasentha Park

Anne Hayden

GUILDERLAND — Tawasentha Park is the setting of a series of trail runs, every Monday night, from now until mid-June.

The Albany Running Exchange, a local running club founded six-and-a-half years ago by Guilderland resident Josh Merlis, then a student at the University of Albany, is hosting the runs, which wind through the park’s trails.

The ARE started as a running club for students, but soon expanded to involve any member of the community who wanted to join. The club currently has over 500 members, many of whom participate in the weekly runs. Different members of the group host runs in different locations on nearly every day of the week.

Kathleen and Randy Goldberg, who also live in Guilderland, initiated this particular series of runs.  “It’s an incredibly enjoyable way of relaxing after work and hanging out with friends,” said Mr. Goldberg, who, along with his wife, has been a member of the ARE for three years.

Goldberg said he and his wife chose Tawasentha “because we fell in love with the park 20 years ago when we moved to Guilderland…It is maintained by the town with care and excellence. It is perhaps one of the most beautiful parks in the entire state. To share it with others is a privilege.”

The trail runs are social and people of all ages and abilities are welcome, said Goldberg. “These aren’t competitive runs at all. It’s just a way for people to get out there and keep their health insurance bills down,” he joked.

Two weeks ago, at the first run of the series, with the weather raw and rainy, about 20 participants came out, said Goldberg. On April 13, a nicer day, the number was closer to 70 — plus four dogs. The average attendance as the weeks go on is expected to be about 50 people, said Goldberg.

“If you have any desire to attempt running, this is an especially welcoming group…Trail running isn’t about speed or time for us; it’s about total outdoor enjoyment and meeting new friends almost every run. Come and see for yourself — you’ll be hooked like us!” said Goldberg.

The runs start every Monday at 6 p.m., from now until June 15, and runners do not have to be a member of the club to participate. Water and crackers are provided.

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