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AEP launches Run Club for employees, contractors, retirees

by on August 8, 2012

Want to get in great shape, make new friends, maybe raise money for great causes and visit exciting cities across the country? If so, then the AEP Run Club is for you.

Open to all AEP employees, contractors and retirees Systemwide who enjoy running as a casual and/or competitive sport, the AEP Run Club is a group in which members can share information on favorite local/traveling run locations, upcoming races, race results and running safety tips. Runners of all experience levels are welcome to join. The AEP Run Club is also supportive of its members participating in events or other groups that support certified charities such as Team in Training (see story below) or the Columbus Eastside Running Club (CERC) (see below for additional information on this group).

Left to right, Jeff White, Lori Mahood and Charlie Blankenbiller are kicking off the AEP Run Club, open to all employees, contractors and retirees.

Avid runner and AEP employee Jeff White, manager-Regulatory Analysis and Case Management in Columbus, Ohio, has teamed with Charlie Blankenbiller, senior scheduler in Engineering, Projects and Field Services, and Lori Mahood, IT architect – principal to revive a companywide running club.

“About 20 years ago, a running group was established at AEP Headquarters in Columbus, and one of the original members, George Roulett (now a co-owner of FrontRunner, a Columbus running specialty store), recently asked if it still existed,” White explained. “After I could not find any evidence that it did, I approached Cass Helwig, manager of health, wellness and productivity, for help. She suggested we set up a Community Page on the Agora to facilitate recruiting members from across the AEP System.”

“The initial plan is for the club to be a resource to find running partners who may live near you for morning and weekend runs, provide information about upcoming races and news of race results, and other information and tips if you are just getting started,” Blankenbiller added. “The Run Club will also post information about local running groups such as CERC, a local non-profit Columbus group that trains for full and half marathons and donates proceeds to local charities.”

“We also have received varying offers from FrontRunner, Fleet Feet and Second Sole for discounts on shoes and clothes if you belong to the Run Club. Each store has offered to host seminars and provide basic training information,” said Mahood. Information about these benefits is available on the Run Club’s Community Page.

“We would like to welcome any volunteers who work outside of AEP Headquarters to serve as a co-editors and be a local point of contact to assist with posting information and recruiting members,” White added.

While the Run Club has its roots in Columbus, the hope is runners from across the AEP System will join so employees can help each other find partners or running locations when traveling around the System and meet at major national destination events such as the Boston Marathon. Members can also post race results on the Community Page, and general running-related topics/questions can be posted on Community Discussions. To date, more than 50 members have joined the club.

For further details or to join, please contact Blankenbiller, Mahood or White.

AEP employees support Team in Training

AEP celebrated its fourth year of participating as a corporate team in the Central Ohio Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society with its largest team yet. Eighteen participants this year raised almost $28,000 to support the mission of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and walked, ran, or cycled in a distance event. Over $100,000 has been raised by the Team AEP since it began in 2009.

“I really admired the dedication and drive of all our teammates who completed the half marathon, and their wonderful success in raising funds for cancer research in our continuing quest to eradicate this insidious disease,” said Dale Heydlauff, vice president, Corporate Communications, and AEP executive champion for Team AEP.

Blankenbiller finished 20th overall in the Cap City Half Marathon this spring with a finishing time of 1:22. Also at the Cap City event, Sheryl Harshaw, Asset Suite Delivery & Support, played Louie the Lightning Bug, greeting runners finishing their event and participating in the Capitol Kid’s Mascot Chase.

Columbus Eastside Running Club (CERC) information

Columbus Eastside Running Club (CERC) is a local running club in Bexley, Ohio, that trains runners for half and full marathons. It is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization and all proceeds go to local charities. The group is affiliated with Second Sole and members receive a 20 percent discount at the store, technical training shirt, coaching provided by a Road Runner Club of America (RRCA) coach, Saturday morning and Wednesday evening group runs, pace groups and much more. This summer, CERC is expanding and starting a second branch to be located in Baltimore, Ohio. Members will receive the same benefits for both groups with proceeds for each group staying local to their area. The cost is $80 for a 19-week season and membership gets you access to both groups.

For additional information, please visit or search for the club on Facebook at Columbus Eastside Running Club and CERC Baltimore.

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