Runner races ahead to 500-mile finish line

Thursday, October 2, 2008
Dennis Jacobs, of Cassville, was recognized for being the first member of the Cassville YMCA's 500-Mile Club to reach the goal of running 500 miles in one year's time. Jacobs reached the milestone after only 12 weeks. Pictured above, from left, are: Robin Hurley; Jacobs; and Michelle Bredeson, Cassville YMCA manager. Democrat Photo

A fitness program that was designed to take one full year to complete was finished by a Cassville man in only 12 weeks.

On Tuesday morning, after completing a seven-mile run on the treadmill, Dennis Jacobs was presented with a plaque and celebratory banner for becoming the first member of the Cassville YMCA's 500-Mile Club.

The club is a running challenge that the Cassville YMCA launched on July 8. Those who join have until July 8, 2009, to reach their goal of running or walking 500 miles. Currently, Jacobs is one of 16 people enrolled in the program and the first to achieve the milestone.

"In less than three months, Dennis has been able to meet this goal," said Michelle Bredeson, Cassville YMCA manager.

Members of the 500-mile club have the option of logging their miles by walking or running at the YMCA facility or outside on their own. Miles can be logged on the YMCA's treadmills or elliptical machines.

Jacobs said he has run his 500 miles at the YMCA and along the Cassville Greenway Trail. Jacobs is also a member of the Barry County Running Club, which was organized this summer under the guidance of Jennifer and Daron Evans. Jacobs also singled out Terry Jamieson as one of his running partners and someone who helped him achieve his goals.

For the past two weeks, Jacobs has been running 10 miles on the treadmill each day to meet his personal goal of completing 500 miles in the first three months of the program. Typically, Jacobs runs seven miles six days a week.

"It took me awhile to build up my endurance," said Jacobs. "Two years ago, when I turned 40, I decided I wanted to be able to run an hour without stopping. It took me awhile, but I'm finally there."

At the age of 40, Jacobs said he weighed 208 pounds, and now as a result of his running regime, he weighs in at a very lean 154 pounds.

Jacobs' commitment to exercise coincided with the opening of the YMCA facility in Cassville.

"This is a great place," said Jacobs. "Everybody here is nice and friendly and they have everything you need to get a good workout."

The 500-Mile Club is just one of many fitness programs offered by the Cassville YMCA to its members. The facility is open six days a week and also offers a Silver Sneakers program and periodic Wellness Challenges to motivate members to exercise regularly.

For more information on the Cassville YMCA and the programs it offers call 846-1535.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: