Running with friends

Trail runners enjoy company
By: Matt Long
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It’s amazing how a seemingly insignificant decision can affect someone’s life. Folsom resident Diane Cressey decided to start the Folsom Trail Runners group in December of 2008 and has called it the best thing she’s ever done. Scott Sandow of Sacramento and Randy Rapetti of Camino said their lives have changed significantly since they joined the trail running club. Cressey, 53, had been a runner most of her life before deciding to start the club. “I love being on the trails, whether it’s running or hiking or biking and I realized that it can be a little scary being there by yourself,” said Cressey, who runs the trails with her dog, Molly. “I decided to start the group and in a short time we’ve already got about 650 members. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.” Prior to starting the group, Cressey started the Folsom Trail Runners Series, a series of 12 races held Thursdays in April through June on trails at Beals Point and Negro Bar. The last race of this year’s series is Thursday at Beals Point. There are two distances to choose from: either race on the three-mile course or the seven-mile course. The series has something for everyone. Some are there to have fun running while enjoying the social aspect, while others are racing for points to be the best. “There have been some awesome relationships built in the group,” Cressey said. “It’s a lot of fun and people can achieve a lot more in a group than they can on their own.” It’s an eclectic group of runners: some as young as 6 years old up to runners in their 70s. Most of the runners are from the Folsom area, but there are others who come from the Sacramento area and beyond. Some runners are there to run short distances, while others enjoy the endurance races from 30 miles up to 100 miles. The group runs all year round with runs, or meet-ups, planned for nearly every day of the week with some days having both morning and evening runs scheduled. Sandow, 37, joined the group in August. “I’m really glad I joined,” Sandow said. “I was an avid runner before, but had just been introduced to trail running before joining. I had never run a marathon before joining, but I have since run two marathons and two ultra-marathons. There’s a place for all types of runners in the group.” Rapetti, 55, has been in the group for about a year and said it’s changed his life. He comes to Folsom twice a week to run. “Since joining the group I’ve lost 45 pounds,” Rapetti said. “I used to be on cholesterol-lowering medication and anti-depressants and now I’m not on anything. Socially, I’m in a much-better place now and most of my friends are in Folsom.” Anyone interested in the group can visit