CHULA VISTA, Calif. — Some people are born to run, others need a little encouragement. In this Zevely Zone, I traveled to Chula Vista to meet the South Bay Family YMCA Trail Runners. They are an incredible group of people who started running with just a handful of people about decade ago. Now, more than 40 runners show up weekly with smiles on their faces ready to run.
"Exercise can actually be something fun, so the more that we do that, the more people come and join us absolutely," said Juan Abenojar.
Ask around and you may find this club is a little crazy.
"Little bit. We like to say we have crazy fun out there," said Gisela Moreno lauhging.
Go to their Facebook page and you can see they are a happy and energetic crowd - no matter the occasion they run into. There are videos of people singing "Happy Birthday" on the trail. The whole thing looked more like a party to me.
"It can be - on and off the trail," said Moreno.
So, how did I hear about the South Bay Y Trail Runners? Christalina Angel is a loyal Zevely Zone viewer and she messaged me on Facebook about doing a segment.
When Christalina spotted me with camera in hand, I had to run for my life because she was either coming in for a highly inappropriate hug or a full on tackle.
"Oh my gosh, I'll get you," she screamed as I finally relented for a bear hug.
She is the most wonderful person and full of energy. It's amazing to me any of them have energy to run. All of them are bouncing up and down and laughing and yelling before they even hit the trail. Christalina says they're excited because this group is as close to family as family gets.
"We run, we cry, we laugh together, we suffer together because sometimes the trails can be a little bit trying," said Christalina.
They've got some serious athletes, but every level of runner is welcome.
"We've had people start off from the couch and literally by the end of our season, they are running half-marathons, they are running marathons and we also have some ultra runners which means they do 50Ks and 100-milers," said Michelle Manly who oversees the program at the South Bay Family YMCA.
Their rule is no matter what, they never leave anyone behind on the trail. I am sure there are at least two reasons for that rule. First of all, safety first, right? But secondly, once they reach the finish line a party awaits.
I noticed that after some of the adventures and runs the trail runners aren't drinking water, so I ask about it.
Gisela Moreno takes this question and says, "Correct. Hydration is very important."
But no water?
She looks me dead in the eye: "Correct. Not always."
Why not celebrate? When you're in it for the long run.