East york runners on the move

East York Runners (from left): Jennifer Ridgeway, Paul Kavanagh, Mic Whitehorn, Oscar Strawczynsk, Patrick Mulroney
East York Runners (from left): Jennifer Ridgeway, Paul Kavanagh, Mic Whitehorn, Oscar Strawczynsk, Patrick Mulroney (EYRunners)

Walking down the Danforth you might see a group of people running in a pack. They are not running away from danger or fleeing a crime; they are the East York Toronto runners (EYTR).
“It’s a chance for runners to get together and gives an opportunity for people who want to do different things,” says Becca Miller-Marans, one of the group’s organizers. “We got a lot of people who are training for races and others who are just running for leisure and fitness.”
The EYTR started in October 2009, and has since become prominent in the community.
“A lot of people who have joined us have said that they have seen us running on the street or waiting outside Starbucks. So they see us and want to join,” said Miller-Marans.
The EYTR has made changes to become more attractive to non-competitive runners.
“We just started up a beginners run on Saturdays. We were finding that people would see our runs and be intimidated. We made the change so people who want to join the group would come out, give it a try and have a good time.”
The group also offers plenty for runners looking for competition. On Sundays there are 15-21 km runs, and some members participate in marathons. Last weekend the EYTR had a team compete in the annual Achilles Canada St. Patrick’s Day 5K run.
“We’re planning on doing the Around the Bay road race in Hamilton on the 24th. That is a 30 km race in which we have 16 or 17 runners participating,” Miller-Marans said.
Despite the exercise and competition, it isn’t running that keeps the group together.
“In the beginning for most people it’s the exercise, but as you get to know the people in the group it becomes the comradery and friendships. Even if I moved out of the area I would still continue to come back to this group for the friendships,” she said.