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Socialize While You Exercise At Brookfield's Woodbridge Running Group

From left, Jim Harron and Joe Mannion, both of Brookfield. Runners at Woodbridge Running Company in Brookfield socialize after their group run.
From left, Jim Harron and Joe Mannion, both of Brookfield. Runners at Woodbridge Running Company in Brookfield socialize after their group run. Photo Credit: Sandra Diamond Fox
Glenn McCabe of Brookfield steps out at the Woodbridge Running Group's weekly Saturday morning run.
Glenn McCabe of Brookfield steps out at the Woodbridge Running Group's weekly Saturday morning run. Photo Credit: Sandra Diamond Fox
From left, Jim Harron and Peter Lofink, both of Brookfield, run together during a Saturday morning group run
From left, Jim Harron and Peter Lofink, both of Brookfield, run together during a Saturday morning group run Photo Credit: Sandra Diamond Fox
Woodbridge group runners gathering for their weekly Saturday morning run.
Woodbridge group runners gathering for their weekly Saturday morning run. Photo Credit: Sandra Diamond Fox

BROOKFIELD, Conn. -- There was the evening of the super soaker, when buckets of rain poured out of the sky and runners from the Woodbridge Running Group in Brookfield were drenched from the first step they took.

And no one can forget the morning of the snowstorm when runners had to trudge single file through snow as heavy flakes covered their tracks.

From 0 degrees to 90, the challenges of the weather won't deter devoted runners from coming back — week after week, year after year — to the Woodbridge Running Group.

The group meets weekly at the Woodbridge Running Company at 632 Federal Road. The group was founded in 2010 by store manager Alene Lofink of Brookfield and former manager Jack Coutts of Milford, and has grown to about 100 members strong.

According to Lofink, the Woodbridge Running Company is conducive for a running group "because we have easy access to a relatively flat 5-mile running route," she said.

Bethel resident and running group member Debbie Webster Heelan said she enjoys the social aspect of running with a group.

"I’ve been solo running forever. For the last 20 years, I would run 3 miles a day, on and off. If the weather was bad in any way, I’d hit the treadmill," she said. "Two marathons and one sprint triathlon later, things have really changed. The running group is more than just a group of friends, we are all a family."

According to New Milford resident Bill Baker, "Woodbridge Running Group a great source of both motivation and encouragement. Regardless of how slow or fast you run, you always know people are going to be there to run with."

After each run, members spend time chatting inside the Woodbridge store while enjoying a potluck of baked goods and beverages.

"I love the variety of runners and walkers in the group, from beginners to veterans, casual to competitive, and everything in between--and everyone has a story to tell," Danbury resident Amy Hanlon said.

The Woodbridge Running Group meets Saturdays at 8:30 a.m., year-round, and at 6 p.m. Wednesdays from March 16 to Nov. 2. For more information on the Woodbridge Running Group, click here.

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