Joey Tarbill has always loved competitive running.
After chasing titles for most of his high school running career, he is looking to take his passion for the sport to the next level as a freshman at Colorado Mountain College.
The only problem is that the school doesn't have a competitive cross country team, and, before Tarbill arrived, it didn't even have any organized outlet for runners to train and compete.
But this fall that changed when Tarbill and a group of about five runners approached the Student Government Association with the idea of starting a running club.
Now, along with his regular running routine, Tarbill is focused on making the Colorado Mountain College Running Club a success on the Alpine campus. That means organizing weekly training runs and coming up with a running calendar for a core group of competitive athletes.
"We formed it as a club, because I don't think we are ready to be a team yet," Tarbill said.
However, he said the club often works as a team. The club maintains a flexible training schedule to appeal to a wide range of athletes and provides a schedule of competitive runs in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming that the team plans on attending.
Tarbill said the club included five competitive members and a few runners who come out to train with the team each week.
The core members include Tarbill, Mike Foote, Jose Villegas, Sheena Brossard and Vanessa Laws.
The team has traveled to Fort Collins and Wyoming for races this fall. Tarbill plans on attending races in southern Utah this winter, and the team is currently training to run in the Los Angeles Marathon next March.
"The marathon will be our No. 1 goal for 2004, but it's not our only goal," Tarbill said.
Tarbill said he has chosen different races to help the team build toward the goal of running in the marathon. But the main idea is to form a place where runners can train together and become better runners as part of a group. Most of the club's members come from a running background, but not all of them.
"Hopefully we will push each other as a group, and we will all become better runners together," Tarbill said.
The team is hosting the Cold to the Core run Friday.
The run will be open to the public, and the funds raised will be used to help send the team to Los Angeles for the marathon. If the team raises more money than it needs to make the trip, Tarbill said the club would donate the extra money to a worthy cause in the area.
Tarbill said he posted the club's training schedule on the Web at www.cmcrunning.1colony.com and that area runners are invited to come out for training sessions.