Nature Trail Runners

A running club with weekly Group Runs in Aurora, IL., Montgomery, IL. and Oswego, IL.

Run Leaders

Ellen Willard

Hello! I started Nature Trail Runners and am the primary Group Run leader. I ran Cross-country for four years in high school and currently run just for fitness. Besides running, I stay in shape with Kettlebells, Zumba, Cycling, and just having fun outdoors!

To contact me message me on Facebook or send an email to

Andy Wells

“About two years ago I decided to start running to keep in shape. I work all day behind a computer and my physical fitness level was pretty low. I always thought of myself as a good runner (not sure why) but, much to my dismay, the first few runs did not go well.I kept running through the suffering and now, flash forward to the present and, I feel fantastic. I am currently running about 30 miles a week as part of my training to run the Chicago marathon in October for a cause that is very special to me.

Twenty three years ago I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and had to go through some serious cancer treatments. I feel lucky to have survived and, for those of you who know me, beating cancer IS the main reason I smile so much . I also feel lucky to have attended a camp called “One Step at a Time” for children with cancer. And as luck would have it (3x lucky!) the volunteer coordinator from One Step as a Time camp found me and asked if I would like to run the Chicago marathon this year to send a child with cancer to camp! I also feel fortunate (sticking with the lucky theme here) to have found Ellen and the Nature Trail group and I look forward to leading you all on some fun runs through some of finest nature trails that the Aurora area has to offer.

To contact me message me on Facebook.”

Harish Pai

In Dec 2011, my buddy asked me to join his Ragnar relay team (A 12 runner, 200 mile relay from Madison to Chicago). Though I had just started hitting the health club a few months earlier (after years of an inactive lifestyle) , I never thought I could run as I had a lot of back problems in the years past. However, I decided to take it up as a challenge to do the relay and started to train for it. The initial weeks were very difficult and I became very familiar with terms like shin-splits, runners knee, IT band syndrome etc. I patiently addressed each symptom (stretching routines, time off from training, buying the right shoes etc.) and didn’t give up. Also I looked for local running groups for support and motivation and came upon Nature Trail Runners and also the Bolingbrook Fun Run Club. Having the support from the groups allowed me to keep pushing through. Soon enough, the pain and discomfort went down as my body got used to running. Not only did I start enjoying it immensely, but I also found that I could run at a pretty decent pace and that was a great boost to my confidence. With my new set of running buddies, I began to look forward to my group runs at every opportunity.

The resulting lifestyle change was dramatic. I lost 35 pounds in 1 year and not only did I participate in the relay with no problems, I also ran about a dozen other races including 3 half marathons and other local 5Ks and 10Ks in 2012. Now, running is a big part of my daily routine. I take inspiration from every runner who has made a conscious decision to live an active/healthy lifestyle. I run about 4-5 times a week for a total of 20-25 miles and am planning to run my first full marathon in 2013. I mostly run alone during the week (I am a 5:00 AM early bird) and run with the group on weekends. I love the trails we have in the area and running with a group makes it so much more fun and enjoyable. I look forward to running/leading meetups for Nature Trail Runners. My contact email is



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