If Maureen Peniuk ever decides to follow in Weird Al Yankovic’s footsteps, riffing on Johnny Cash could be first on the list.
Like the old Cash ditty, the 47-year-old North Kildonan resident has run darn near everywhere, man, competing in 49 marathons, with her 50th slated to come less than a month from now at the 50th annual Calgary Marathon on June 1.
In advance of this year’s marathon season, Peniuk is looking to get more northeast Winnipeggers running alongside her, as she has started up the Peguis Pioneer Pacers running group. The group currently meets at the intersection of the Chief Peguis Trail and Gateway Road every Tuesday at 5 p.m., and Peniuk has a number of visions for the group. She hopes to build the running community by using the new trail infrastructure in the neighbourhood in the initial stages, and hopes the group format pushes others — herself included — to make strides forward.
"I always stay at the same pace and I never go out of my comfort zone and I need to get better," Peniuk said. "I would like someone to evaluate what I’m doing, have a plan of action, and by the end of our runs in October or November, I can say ‘I was here, and now I’m here.’"’
In terms of membership, Peniuk doesn’t have any designs for any given quantity of runners, but hopes to have multiple people who are at similar levels so all members have someone to run alongside.
"Do what you can at your own pace, within your limits, and everything will take care of itself," Peniuk said.
Fellow Pacer Jane McCarville agreed, saying she could use someone to run beside her to keep her honest out there on the trail.
"That whole buddy system is very important," she said.
"Sometimes you’re a lone runner, and some people like that, but for myself, I need someone to run with, or I’m going to go ‘Oh, I’m going to walk now,’" she chuckled.
Each session will be approximately an hour, and Peniuk hopes to keep things fresh by taking new approaches every week. She has received an invitation from Elmwood High School to use its track, and is considering holding a session there once per month for a change of scenery.
Peniuk also said there is the possibility of setting up sessions on other evenings if there is demand for it.
In addition to her activity with the group, Peniuk also run-commutes from North Kildonan to her office in the Exchange District in the spring and fall. The route is an approximately 10-kilometre jog each way.
To join the group, contact Peniuk at firstname.lastname@example.org and for more information, visit the group’s webpage at http://groupspaces.com/PeguisPioneerPacers/