Running is an essential part of our being. Human beings evolved the ability to walk and run on two legs to, among other things, be able to cover long distances more efficiently than our four-legged counterparts. For president of the UNCG running club, Christopher Reed, running has become a large part of his life. Himself a multiple-time marathon finisher, he has set out to bring the sport and social activity of running to UNCG with under the auspices of the UNCG running club.
“Our main goal is to get people in shape,” said Reed. He also said that getting people physically fit and active together in a group setting is a great way to get in shape. Currently, there are over twenty students on the running club roster, with between three and ten people typically showing up to the daily practices held Monday and Wednesday at 5pm and Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 3:30pm. The club meets on the steps of the Student Recreation center.
All it takes to join the club, founded in 2013, is $20 and a health waiver. Anyone who takes part in races pays $40 to cover the cost of entry fees. This membership fee covers the making of training plans, travel costs, and other general fundraising purposes. These fees augment funds received from the Student Government Association, or SGA. Also, these funds are used to make running club shirts and in the past, jackets.
The running club is also a way to meet new people and make friends. There club hosts multiple socials taking place throughout the year. These typically take the form of movie nights and get-togethers at club members’ apartments. In addition, the running club does promotion events, such as attending SOAR, advertising on College Avenue during the Fall Kickoff, and tabling at the cafeteria.
The running club undertook its final event of the semester last weekend. The club headed to Knoxville, Tennessee for a races that took place on Saturday, with events from the 5k through the full marathon going off at 7am.
“We have people running everything from the 5k through the half-marathon. We have a total of about ten people going,” said the club president.
After this season ends, however, the club will be undergoing a transformation. According to Christopher, a junior, “I’ll be handing over the reigns to some of the younger guys who will be taking the club in a different direction.” Multiple officer positions will open up in the club next year, as there is a large graduating class this year. Members of the club who seek to take the club in a more competitive direction will fill these positions. The club will inaugurate a new president among other new officer positions.
The objective of this transition is to make the club competitive on the National Intercollegiate Running Club Association, or NIRCA, circuit. This series of races is a highly competitive cross country and track and field events. These competitions mirror the NCAA cross country and track setups, with national-level competition and qualifying for higher-level events. In the past, the running club has taken part in NIRCA races, however it has not done so lately. This transition will bring UNCG’s running club in line with many other UNC-system schools that have running clubs competing at this level.
Despite this newfound competitive streak, Reed is intent of making the running club an open, inclusive, and fun environment where students can ultimately grow and improve. All levels of seriousness and ability are welcome. At the final socials of the year, awards are handed out to the members of the club. In addition, members of the running club will be able to wear a specially designated running club chord at graduation.
More information can be found at the running club website at http://campusrec.uncg.edu/clubs/current/running-club/. Contact information for the club officers can be found at this location.