The hills of Mt. Oread, humid summers and brutal winters are enough to make most seek refuge indoors. However, these challenges are all part of the fun for a group of dedicated exercise hounds who call themselves the Mad Dogs.
Mad Dogs are mostly made up of KU professors and staff who join together each weekday for conversation and comradery, all while breaking a sweat. In 1973, a group of KU professors started meeting over lunch for a quick run. Forty-one years later the group has grown dramatically, but continues to meet at noon outside Robinson Gymnasium.
Marcia Powers, Manager of Decision Analytics for the College, is a member of the group and tries to run with the Mad Dogs at least three times a week.
“I started running with the group about six years ago. I needed to find a way to get exercise at noon after having a child made it more difficult to exercise before work,” said Powers.
A typical run could be anywhere from three to seven miles, outside or even inside Robinson. Members meet up as their schedule allows and run at their own pace. Brought together by their love of running, the Mad Dogs is also a place where friendships are built and ideas are shared. Powers says her favorite part of the being in the group is the support and people. Terry Slocum, professor of geography, has been running with the group for 10 years and he agrees.
“My favorite part is the friendships that we form with one another. It isn’t important how fast or far you run. Rather, it is nice to be able to interact with others who have a similar interest,” Slocum said.
According to the group’s website, KUMadDogs.org, there are approximately 50 active members not including an extensive list of friends and alumni. Members are spread across a wide variety of university disciplines and research areas.