Luna Chix running group welcomes all
By Nicki Anderson email@example.com August 13, 2012 3:08PM
The local Luna Chix group starts weekly running sessions from Naperville Running Co. in Naperville. | Submitted
Updated: September 16, 2012 6:09AM
One of the (many) reasons I love living in Naperville is the incredible generosity of people. That generosity can be found in numerous fundraisers, in neighborhoods and the myriad activities designed to bring our community together. That includes a group of ladies called Team Luna Chix. Their goal? To bring women of all fitness levels together to build camaraderie, while learning how to be a better runner or triathlete.
Arlene Pappalardo of Naperville is a cancer survivor who wanted to move forward.
“I needed to get back into shape and get out of the house, especially having to deal with the devastation of breast cancer, and then losing my husband of 35 years,” she said. “I heard that the Luna Chix were starting a running club here in Naperville, and thought this would be a great way to start on my road to being fit and healthy. I was not a runner, but knew that this group of women would help me learn and encourage me on.”
According to Pappalardo, the purpose of this group — there are a number of Luna Chix groups around the country — is to inspire women of all levels to realize their goals of becoming a better runner, swimmer or biker
Bernadette Zita, the captain of the Chicago triathlon group, loves working with women who are able to realize their potential in a comfortable environment.
“There’s a lot of support in this group,” Zita said. “The different levels of fitness have opportunities to be mentored by those with more experience. We encourage everyone to learn/progress at their own pace — no pressure, just encouragement.”
“The real reason I like these ladies,” says Pappalardo, is that they truly mean “no runner will be left behind.”
There are 10 ladies (all of different ages) who all do races throughout the year, as well as triathlons. (Luna Chix was a sponsor of the SheROX Sprint Triathlon on June 10 in Naperville ). Luna’s goal is to help each participant learn how to run, bike and swim. The group also offers up tips, and they run with participants giving constant encouragement. If you want to train for a 5K, half marathon, full marathon or triathlon, a Luna Chix team member will be by your side.
Many people wouldn’t dream of completing a 5K much less a triathlon, but this assembly of women takes the fear factor out of training and brings in a fun factor.
Nancy Klimah, also known as “Snips” is the team motivator. It was “Snips” who encouraged Pappalardo to join the group in Naperville.
“What inspires me most about this group of women is the passion we all share,” Klimah said. “No matter what age or skill women are, we want to help them become the best/healthiest they can be. We all want ordinary to become extraordinary!”
Team Luna Chix is associated with Luna bars, and has several running, biking and triathlon teams across the nation. In fact, this year, there are three Luna Chix who went to the Olympics.
“This group motivates me to get out every Monday night and run,” Pappalardo says. “It has motivated me to get on my bike again. I hear the stories from the Luna Chix about all of their accomplishments and how they’ve succeeded, and it pushes me to say, ‘I can try that, I can do that. Get moving, Arlene!’ It’s the camaraderie with these ladies (that) has really made my Monday nights special!”
Every Monday, Luna Chix offers a training run from Naperville Running Co. Distances vary from 3 to 5 miles, and they welcome all paces. No runner will be left behind. This free run starts promptly at 6:30 p.m.
For more information about Luna Chix and who they are, visit teamlunachix.com/chicago_triathlon.
Do you have an inspiring story about your journey to fitness? Share it with columnist Nicki Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.