A 'light' run in the park

The Stinky Tuesdays running club encourages runenrs and walkers to join them for a weekly tour of the Christmas decorations at Washington Park. 

The Christmas lights at Washington Park are a Michigan City holiday tradition.

The Stinky Tuesdays running club is nudging sight-seers to leave the warmth of their vehicles, lace up their shoes and join them for a brisk jaunt around the grounds, which Newman estimates at a mile-and-half.

"We're encouraging other people to come," Newman said. "You don't have to run. You can walk through the park. Just bundle up, bring some hot chocolate and check out the lights."

The group, which typically meets at Blue Chip Casino, will gather the rest of the month at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays at the Old Lighthouse Museum.

"We moved it there while the lights are on," Newman said. "There's more traffic. There are people all over the place, looking at the lights. You definitely have to pay attention. You have to be aware of your surroundings, be prepared as a runner."

A veteran distance runner with 20 marathons to her name, Newman set a goal when she turned 40 back in 2017 to do a marathon in all 50 states before she turns 50. She completed her 12th last month in Savannah, Georgia, and is gearing up for Texas in February, the first of five she has scheduled for 2019.

"I'm training in the winter for what's going to be a hot run," she said. "Some of us are training all the time for something. If there's no blizzard, we meet and run in the snow. Officially, we meet Memorial Day to Labor Day, but informally, three or four of us crazy ones meet all the way through the winter. The original group stopped doing it, but we kept meeting on Tuesdays. I try not to miss. I try not to schedule appointments on Tuesday."

Newman wasn't with the club when it was started by the Wojasinski and Stimley families, joining after the Northwest Athletic Club became involved and the group began to meet at Blue Chip.

"They met at Ryan's, would run and come back and have a beer," she said.

As for the admittedly tongue-in-cheek name, Newman was told the stinky part comes from the fact that you stink when you run and, at the time, there were no weekday running organizations in Michigan City. While the Stinky Tuesday founders are no longer involved, they passed the Facebook page control as well as the name to those who remain.

"There's as many as dozen," she said. "People come and go, but hopefully we can get some more to be part of the group."


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