The Sunflower Striders Running Club (SSRC) was organized in the late 1970s. On April 8, 1980, articles of incorporation were filed with the Secretary of State’s office establishing the SSRC as a non-profit organization. Some of the current members who were involved in the early years of the club include Nick Buek, Jim and Ethel Edwards, Lana Best, John Stambaugh, Denis Hill, Glenda Taylor and Joe Saia, Gary Pratt, Jan Leuenberger, and Jerry Estes. Individuals who have served as president of the club from the early 1990s forward include Fred Clark, Dave Halferty, Karen (Pelton) Yokley, Susan Hageman, Joanie Dergan, and current president Brad Rhoden.
The SSRC has a long history of providing timing and results for local races. In recent years the club has added the following activities:
- Sponsoring several annual fun runs, including traditional events on New Year’s Day, a spring picnic fun run, Labor Your Legs on Labor Day and a Thanksgiving Day run around lake Sherwood.
- Hosting the annual Topeka to Auburn Half Marathon each January.
- Providing funds for a local charity from proceed from the half marathon.
- Hosting an annual spring picnic/fun run.
- Adopting families for the holidays through the Christmas Bureau and/or making a donation to the Topeka Rescue Mission.
- We have also provided funds to provide water fountains along the Shunga Trail and at Lake Shawnee.
- Other periodic community service projects and activities.