megan raposa

Students who did not study abroad this J-term still have a chance to go for miles.

Miles Club, sponsored by the Elmen Center, rewards students for the miles they record in the weight room at three different levels. After 25 miles, students receive a water bottle. After 50 miles they get a towel, and those who top 75 miles get a t-shirt.

“I like to run,” sophomore Corrine Fritcher said. “If I’m going to work out, I might as well record my miles.”

Between the goals of Miles Club and the flexible schedules many students have during J-term, the weight room has seen increased traffic this January.

“We’re busy,” said sophomore Lauren Thompson, who works as a supervisor in the weight room. “There’s a lot more people doing cardio.”

Intramural coordinator Chad Barman said the goal of Miles Club is to encourage students to utilize the Elmen’s facilities.

“We have all the stuff that health clubs do, but ours is included in your tuition,” Barman said.

Miles Club has been an intramural option at Augustana for almost a decade now and is consistently successful. Last year, participants recorded 5,929 miles with an average of nearly 38 miles per person.

During the first week of J-term this year, 146 participants recorded 1,816 miles, and after the second week the number had topped 3,000.

All those miles take time to run, and often if students want to use a treadmill, elliptical or bicycle in the weight room, they have to reserve a time slot in advance.

Thompson attributes the busyness in the weight room to the cold weather, recent New Year’s resolutions and the goal of getting in shape before spring break.

She said she’s seen more calls from students reserving machines since J-term started.

“When they sign up for a time, they want it,” Thompson said. “Normally they’d take something else, but everything else is busy.”

Students like Fritcher, who normally just show up and work out, are having to be more aware of their schedule and plan specific times to come use the machines. “It’s kind of annoying to have to reserve machines, but it’s a fun vibe because everyone works out together,” Fritcher said.

Fritcher ran over 75 miles last year, and is on track to reach the highest level of Miles Club again this year.

“I’m going to make it happen.”