When most people think of running a 5- to 10- kilometer race, they rarely associate that with drinking coffee. But for about 40 members of the Orange City community, the Old Factory Coffee House and running go hand in hand.
Ryan Anderson, husband to Fern Smith resident director Alyssum Anderson, recently started the Old Factory Running Club and invited members of Orange City and Northwestern College to join. The club’s main focus for attraction was training for Orange City’s Kiwanis Tulip Festival Road Race.
Anderson had wanted to start a running club for a while, and saw the Road Race as a great excuse to use his gifts in health and wellness to better the community.
“I just got the idea while running,” Anderson said. “Lots of cool events happen at the Old Factory, and it’s a great place for kids to gather and meet.”
Although the coffee shop and the running club are not directly related, the Old Factory has shown their support to the running club by offering members 50 cents off purchases on “running days.”
Old Factory was excited when Anderson brought the idea to them as they are always looking for ways to “develop relationships with our neighbors, creating a community of people that live alongside one another, growing together.”
The Old Factory staff encourages a healthy community, and they were excited for someone to take on the challenge of bringing good coffee and physical activity into Orange City.
“Running days” are 5 p.m. Tuesdays, 7 a.m. Thursdays and 8 a.m. Saturdays. The group splits up into different groups based on their goals. Those who are training for the 10k run a longer route than those training for the 5k.
There are about five to six different routes the club will take that circle through the community. The team spends time stretching before and after each practice.
Even though the end goal for Old Factory Running Club is the Road Race, many members have joined with different goals in mind. NW student Taylor Nienhuis joined the club mainly to hang out with her friends as she will not be in Orange City during the Road Race. Nienhuis has a goal of having fun and getting good exercise. Since joining the club she has had a great time meeting new people, and being able to hang out at the Old Factory after the run.
“Ryan is a great facilitator,” Nienhuis said. “I love that we meet at the Old Factory because it’s a great central spot to stay at after running to enjoy conversation, food or just do homework.”
Robert Hubbard, professor of speech and theatre, participates in the running club to get to know new people and stay in shape.
“I usually run alone,” Hubbard said. “I thought it might be fun to try running in community. Society tends to work better if people participate in groups within their community dedicated to positive things.”
For more information about the Old Factory Running Club or how to join the group, go to their Facebook page, contact Anderson or simply show up on one of the running days.