Society Spotlight: Friendly Runners’ Club

The Broad’s Society Spotlight’s are regular articles highlighting the societies of UEA – open to any and every club and society at the university. If you want your club or society spotlighted just send us a quick message and we’ll give you all the information you need!

The Friendly Runners’ Club is an all-inclusive running society for people of all abilities. Established in 2016, we place emphasis on creating a friendly, social environment for people to improve their fitness. We have three runs a week: the beginners run, the 5km and the 8km. For those looking to improve their running times, we also attend the Eaton Park Parkrun every second Saturday. The Parkrun is a volunteer-organised 5km race where you can try and beat your personal best! We’ll usually go for a coffee afterwards as well, so we can start the weekend refreshed and energised! We’re not just about running though. We’re working to organise socials throughout the year, including bar nights and quizzes! There’s so much going on in the society and we have much more to announce!

Meet the committee:

Marie Le Novere – President

When I first started uni in 2015 I found it really hard to motivate myself to start running again and was really surprised there wasn’t already a casual running society at UEA. Eventually after almost a year of complaining about it my friends convinced me to start one myself! It’s been incredibly rewarding to watch the society grow and knowing that I’ve done my little bit to help motivate people to start/get back into running. I myself would not have managed to keep running through winter as I did last year without the society, but even when the weather was gloomy and the last thing I wanted to do was go outside for a run, going for a Friendly Runners’ run completely turned my day around. But what really makes the Friendly Runners’ Club is its members who turn up to the runs and have fun and are always suggesting ways to make the society even better, I can’t wait to see how the society develops this year.

Adam Broughton – Treasurer

I must initially credit Marie for inspiring me to join the society and start running. I never considered running as an activity I would actively do until I started running every week with the club. It opened my eyes as to how popular running was and how many amazing people actively took part in it. What I really like about this club is the friendly aspect of it, hence the name of the club. I started the club having no experience of running, but straight away I felt to be part of a group and got to know everyone really quickly. This gave me so much confidence to come along every week and always improve with my running. Soon I was introduced to the Saturday morning Parkrun and got involved with the more competitive side of running. This was great fun for me because I always wanted to beat my personal best and it made me feel really motivated to train. The more that I started to run, the more productive I felt and the more healthy and active I became. I would never have experienced this if it wasn’t for the Friendly Runners Club. Moreover, I got introduced to so many lovely people at the club who I can now call friends. The social aspect of the club is really important as well because I get to run with many incredible people as well as get to know them on a more personal basis. Having a group of people to run with gives me so much more motivation to get out and run. I am now the treasurer of the society, and I’ll make sure there are plenty of funds for amazing socials and events to come! It’s going to be a great year for the club.

Ben Lucas – Secretary

I joined the society at the start of last year, and I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s kept me fit and healthy, and it’s great knowing that I’ll get to run every week with some really friendly people. Getting together with other runners has made a world of difference to my running motivation, and I’ve met some amazing friends. I’m now the secretary for the society, so you might see me around on some of the runs! The Parkrun is my favourite society event, partly because of the competitive drive to beat my personal best, but mostly because I absolutely love going for the post-run coffee and catching up with all my fellow runners. A favourite moment of mine was an 8km run we did last year after heavy snow the night before. Running through the snow was no easy task, but it was a great laugh and fantastic exercise! So many great experiences have come out of this society, and I’m excited for the year ahead.

Tara Patel – Social Secretary

When I first joined the Friendly Runners club last January I couldn’t run for longer than 5 minutes without wanting to give up, which is why I never really tried to improve and run further – it was so demotivating and frustrating for me. However, running with people with similar abilities just like you really motivates you to want to keep going and improve. The beginners program worked like a dream and by the end of February I had managed my first full 5k run without stopping – an effort I would have thought impossible at the start of university. By May I had built up my fitness to run 12k at a comfortable pace. Without the Friendly Runners Club, I wouldn’t have met so many warm and genuine people who are only there to help and motivate you. On weeks where I wasn’t feeling my best and had to stop no one ridicules you, they just give support. But definitely the best thing about FRC is you meet so many potential running partners, so if the thought of going out for a run by yourself scares you, you can ask to meet up with anyone from the club for company, making a run much easier. It also forced me to go and run when I really didn’t want to because I didn’t want to let anyone down.

Also in the committee are Lauren (Health & Safety Officer), Olivia (Equality & Diversity Officer) and Niall (Union Council Rep). You’ll get a chance to meet them on our weekly runs!

Our society provides a fantastic opportunity to meet new people, discover a new hobby and improve your fitness. With frequent runs and fantastic socials, there’s never a dull moment, and our committee is working hard to ensure the best society experience for all our members. If you think you might be interested, please come along to one of our runs! Everyone is welcome! You can find all the information you need on our Facebook and Twitter (@UEARunnersClub). We hope to see you soon!

Image courtesy of the Friendly Runners’ Club Facebook page.

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