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Leaders of the Pack

Featured Photo from Leaders of the Pack

Meet the founders of the Oviedo Run Club.

Dani Rohr and Amy Ansbaugh work long hours as co-owners of a printing business in the Historic Nelson & Company Celery Precooler district in downtown Oviedo. In their spare time, they love to run, but they had little time to socialize. So, one day, back in 2016, they came up with an idea.

They would kill two birds with one stone by starting a running club on Tuesdays after work, and they would call it the Oviedo Run Club.

“There are so many nice people in this area who run, but there was nothing we knew of where like-minded people could meet to run and be social,” says Dani, a former teacher and soccer coach at Winter Springs High School who played soccer at Lake Mary High and the University of Central Florida. “We figured if we started a run club, we’d have people to run with – at least once a week!”

To publicize their idea, Amy and Dani put together an Oviedo Run Club page on Facebook, and local runners immediately responded. During those first few weeks, Amy recalls she and Dani would look out their office windows at the end of the workday and see 50 to 60 runners – including several members of the Oviedo and Hagerty High cross-country teams – gathered outside.

“We thought, ‘What have we gotten ourselves into?’” Amy says. “But it was great, because we had an excuse to get away from the job.”

The club now has about 25 to 30 regulars who casually meet in the parking lot outside Dani and Amy’s office every Tuesday at 159 North Central Avenue around 5:30 p.m. The runners – and walkers – range from children to seniors and include both serious and casual athletes.

“The best thing is we have people with strollers, we have dogs, we have kids,” Dani says with a big smile. “We have really serious runners training for different things; we have people just trying to lose weight. I’m very proud of what has been created. But, overall, we’re just so happy that we get to hang out with some really nice people every Tuesday night.”

Each week, the club members gather for a few minutes to chat in the parking lot, sometimes finding a new running partner or friend, and then they take off on the Cross Seminole Trail, running or walking a variety of distances at their own pace. When they’re done, club members are welcome to gather near the parking lot and enjoy complimentary water bottles and locally brewed beer.

Both Dani and Amy are giddy about the wonderful people who have embraced the club and become their friends – people like Giles Williams, a 74-year-old Oviedo resident who joined the group in February 2018.

“Amy and Dani are two of the nicest people in the world,” says Giles, who has run a whopping 121 marathons since 1998.“People run by themselves a lot, so it’s nice to have this camaraderie among people with a similar passion for running.”

For Amy and Dani, the Oviedo Run Club has given them an extra incentive to amp up their training routine. Before they started the club, both women were casual runners who competed in occasional 5Ks and half marathons, just trying to stay fit. Since starting the club, Dani has lost 15 pounds and Amy has lost more than 25 pounds. They have remarkably improved their race times, and both of them completed the Boston Marathon this past April.

“I told Dani that we’re never going to stick to a schedule until we invite people here to run with us,” Amy says. “The Run Club has given us a little bit of accountability – and some really good, reliable running partners.”

But more importantly, Dani and Amy are bringing together the people of Oviedo for a great cause.

“This club has something for everyone, if you want to get out and get active,” Amy says. “We’re promoting this area of Oviedo, getting Oviedo active, and sharing our love for running... and beer!”

From Here to Beantown

Thanks in part to the Oviedo Run Club, our community was well represented at the Boston Marathon

Because of the motivation they’ve received from the Oviedo Run Club, founders Dani Rohr and Amy Ansbaugh have transformed themselves into serious runners. They put their training to the test this past April when, running side by side, they completed the prestigious Boston Marathon in three hours and 53 minutes.

Dani and Amy entered the race as part of Team IMPACT Melanoma, raising more than $15,000 for the nonprofit organization that is working to reduce incidences of the deadly skin cancer.

Dani and Amy were among 15 residents from the Oviedo-Winter Springs area who completed the Boston Marathon, which is in its 123rd year. Among local residents, Peter Buffington, 41, of Winter Springs posted the fastest time for the 26.2-mile race in 3:03.46 (a pace of 7:01 per mile). Kristen Scruggs, 35, of Winter Springs was the top finisher among local women, with a 3:27.51 time (7:56 pace).

The top finishers from Oviedo were Monica Johnson, 35 and Darrell Brodt, 56. Other Oviedo residents who completed the race were Katherine Draper, Pamela Carr, Kelly Howell, Nicole Gerrish, and Rick Mason. Other Winter Springs residents who completed the race were Doug Guthrie, Stefanie Shimansky (featured on page 64), Molly Halcom, and Jennifer O’Brien. 


 


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