Road Warriors provide fun and camaraderie while working out


The very first team photo from March 2006 at the Top of the Morning 5k in Shiloh. (Photo courtesy of Brian Trout)

A local fitness team began in 2005 with one man looking for company during the annual O’Fallon Turkey Trot race. Brian Trout didn’t know that 11 years later, the Road Warriors would have 11 chapters and 4,399 members worldwide, including two European chapters.

The local chapter, which began at Scott Air Force Base, did not officially become the Road Warriors until 2008. Trout marveled “I look at this team and am amazed everyday. I often say it is the best accidental thing I have ever done! I did not set out with this result in mind. At first it was part selfish (I didn’t want to train alone or go to races where I didn’t know anyone) and part military (we have a requirement to be fit so they were my first recruits). But it didn’t take long before I realized fitness was for everyone.”

Trout has kept the team free for all to join, and does not require anyone to participate in specific races or purchase their team apparel. The Road Warriors’ group description reads “We are a group of individuals who believe fitness and health are important. Although most of us are involved in running, we don’t limit ourselves. Swimming, walking, biking, triathlons, etc. are all options, too. We also believe we can make a difference, so we work to motivate and inspire others to maintain or increase their fitness. All are welcome to become part of the team, regardless of current level of fitness, speed, or proficiency.”

While most members are runners that Trout believes join well into their fitness journey, he mentioned that he knows the team can seem intimidating to those just beginning their journey.

“They think they have to be fast and fit to be able to join. Those are the people we still need to reach. They don’t realize we have a group that calls themselves the Purple Turtles. We have walkers, joggers, and runners of every pace. We have kids as young as three participating in fitness events and mature adults as old as 85. It doesn’t matter what they do for fitness as long as they do something. We want to be there for them. Each one we get has the ability to motivate, encourage, and inspire so many more. It is our way of ‘paying it forward.’ The interesting concept is how many start their fitness journey because of us that we don’t even know about. They may feel they have to get some fitness before they approach us, or they may never approach us, but at least they started.”

The Road Warriors compete in races around the world, and while some races have a strong multi-member presence, Trout said that there is usually at least one team member in every race in the St. Louis Metro area. Team members can be distinguished by their signature purple camouflage apparel. The purple is meant to signify all military branches working together. Members of the team span multiple military branches, and Trout wanted to include the civilian community as another branch working towards the overall goal of fitness. The design of the team shirt has other special features, such as black to honor sacrifice, and the POW/MIA logo.

“One of the most amazing things is to be in a race and have someone thank you for displaying the POW/MIA symbol. It may be because they have a family member who was a POW or is still MIA, or it may be because they were themselves – I’ve had both occur. Sadly, we are also finding out how many of the younger generation don’t even know what it stands for. I’ve even been questioned a couple of times whether I believe there are still POW’s out there. They seem to forget we are currently in a war that has included POW’s and MIA’s,” Trout said.

Trout and his wife, Gitta Brink, are affectionately known by the team as “Papa and Mama Road Warrior.” Trout seems amused with the moniker, mentioning “I can’t remember how far back or even who first called me Papa Road Warrior, but it took me awhile to embrace the nickname; it made me feel old.” He went on to say that Brink became known as “Mama” as soon as the pair started dating. They race with the team, though Trout has been waylaid with knee issues, and will continue this year to work towards the goal of completing a marathon in all 50 states. Trout’s personal total is 87 half marathons and two full marathons. He travels as much as he can to races with team members across the globe. He also welcomes the new members when they join the chapter groups on Facebook, and posts motivational messages for all team chapters.

Whether looking for camaraderie, motivation, or help kick starting your fitness journey, for more information about the Road Warriors, or to join their team, they can be found on Facebook, and Trout can be reached at

Coverdell Dash Road Warriors copy

This is from a run the Road Warriors sponsored to raise money for a Road Warrior family ( a mother and four young girls) whose father died of cancer just a couple weeks prior. It is the Coverdell Dash and has the most Road Warriors in one photo – over 120. (Photo courtesy of Brian Trout)

District 90 Early Childhood Foundation Receives Donation at Board Meeting

District 90 PicO’FALLON – The Early Childhood Development Foundation received a donation courtesy of CSX and Lex White at the recent District 90 Board of Education monthly meeting.
“The ECD Foundation, whose mission is to provide all three and four year olds in District 90 an opportunity to attend preschool to develop necessary skills for kindergarten readiness, grants scholarships to those who show financial need.” To Mr. White, she said “I just want to thank you over and over again,” said ECD Board President Debbie Yaeger.
“It’s so impressive to see them helping out our students in need. We know how important early learning is. It’s impressive for me to know that this is in place for our students that are really struggling to make ends meet, or that their parents are struggling to get them into a quality program, that we can offer that through District 90. I’d like to thank Lex ad his company for being a part of that. I know this is not the first time he’s donated; he’s given many times in many ways to our district,” said Superintendent Carrie Hruby.
“CSX is glad to support ECD. This can make a difference in two people’s lives, sometimes more than that. I know from personal experience, I have a son with special needs, and when children have help early on, that’s less help they need later. I’m blessed to live here in O’Fallon among such a dedicated group of individuals. I know most of the teachers and administrators by name, and God Bless each and every one of you,” Lex White said after presenting the check to the board.
In other business…
The meeting continued with recognizing board member Rebecca Huller who completed training and achieved the title of IASB LeaderShop Academy Member.
Superintendent Hruby gave her report that enrollment seems to be holding steady, and that class sizes are being looked at. The district is reviewing all of the schools’ enrollment and will look at boundary lines, and consider attendance centers versus neighborhood schools.
The board noted that they are really hoping upcoming legislation passes that would have a one-percent sales tax increase. The collected taxes would go towards paying down the district’s debts and purchasing much desired technology for the students.
The board did approve their FY16 budget with some opposition from board members Steve Springer and Chris Pulcher, as the budget does include deficit spending. The board approved a stipend for the athletic director, and also approved the creation of two positions in the district. The first position would be a clerical assistant or Early Childhood since the program is growing. The second is a business manager to oversee all the business functions of the district. Only the position of the business manager itself was approved, and the salary will be voted on later.
The next regularly scheduled District 90 Board of Education meeting is October 20.

Residents speak out about Shiloh Trustee’s tall grass at meeting

Village of ShilohSHILOH – The Shiloh Committee at Large meeting, held Monday, September 28th, began with a moment of silence for the passing of a long time village employee, Max Marshall. After the moment of silence, Mayor Vernier asked for prayers for Mr. Marshall’s wife during her time of grief.

Following the moment of silence, the committee opened the floor for visitors to voice concerns. Chris Kazmierczak, a resident of Shiloh in the Meadowbrook subdivision, addressed the board and expressed frustration about the lawn belonging to Shiloh Village Board Member Mark Kurtz. He stated that he wanted the board to understand not only his frustration, but the frustration of subdivision residents that there “is a consistent lawn care issue.” He went on to discuss the ordinance, which states that after grass grows 10 inches high, there is a grace period of seven days to mow before being ticketed. He stated the lawn is consistently long.
Mayor Vernier said he is aware of the ongoing issue. Vernier said that the chief of police went by Trustee Kurtz’s property on Sunday and that the lawn had been mowed.
“I agree, I don’t understand it. Trustee Kurtz took an oath and held his hand high to ‘abide by the laws of the Village of Shiloh and the state of Illinois.’ It’s embarrassing to me, it embarrasses this board, and it embarrasses this village,” Vernier said, empathizing with the residents.
Trustee Greg O’Neil encouraged Kazmierczak to call as soon as he sees the issue so that city employees can check it. Vernier acknowledged that there was a piece of legislation up for vote called Home Rule that did not pass, and Home Rule would have given the committee more power in instances such as these, rather than just abiding by state laws. He also said that they are working closely with the city attorney to tighten ordinances and give the board more power to write violations and abate these issues and bill the homeowners.
Meadowbrook homeowner’s association president, Marilyn Almind, also echoed Kazmierczak’s frustrations, and said she is consulting attorneys to see if the homeowner’s association has any avenues to place restrictions from their end to keep the lawns mowed and the neighborhood residents happy. A third resident also stated he was there to show neighborly support in frustration with the Kurtz lawn situation.
“It’s not personal, we’re just frustrated and want his grass cut,” said Kazmierczak. Kurtz was not present at the committee at large meeting.
The committee moved on and approved two solicitor applications for Edward Jones. The committee also approved allocating TIF funds to pay for the village portion of the Memorial Sewer Line upsize, and for Motor Fuel Tax for reimbursement of IDOT funding for phases three and five of Siebert Road.