The University of Dayton Running Club has increased membership to 75 active members in its second year as an official club sport.
“I am surprised about the amount of growth since last year when we founded the club,” said Kristen Schulz, a senior pre-physical therapy major and president of the UD Running Club. “We have increased awareness due to the interest of those who have transitioned from a high school team and are looking for a college group who they can socialize with while enjoying physical activity.”
The club’s constitution states that it was established for the purpose of promoting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle through training and racing opportunities. The club accepts runners of all abilities. Dues are $5 to cover expenses, such as gas and the cost of supplies for social events.
“We try to set our club apart by encouraging those who may not have run in the past to get involved,” Schultz said. “Our directions provide the route so that no one can get lost, and we divide into multiple groups so that no one runs alone.”
Practices are on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. and Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. Members also travel for a monthly Sunday park run at 2 p.m. Runs start and end in front of the RecPlex.
Schulz said that for a typical weekly run, everyone signs in and the officers announce any upcoming events. The officers then distribute the directions for the run and make sure everyone understands them.
“We give people time to socialize and stretch before the run,” Schulz said. “Also, many of our members come straight from class, so we provide a locker in the Rec for their valuables.”
Each group of runners is provided with a running route ranging from three to six miles. The routes take students on a tour of Dayton.
“I like leaving the UD bubble every once in awhile,” said Matt Chkautovich, a sophomore accounting and finance major and the club’s event coordinator. “I probably would not have the opportunity to see the areas surrounding campus if I was not a part of the running club.”
Chkautovich said the group has experimented with incorporating other types of training besides distance runs. They have completed two hill workouts and are planning an interval workout for the future. The UD Running Club also hosts indoor cycling classes. They also look to incorporate aqua jogging as the weather becomes more unpredictable.
Danielle Kearns, a sophomore civil engineering major and second-year running club member, said she likes that the organization is more than just a running group.
Schulz said that members have the opportunity to show how hard they have worked since the beginning of the semester at a National Intercollegiate Running Club Association race against other running clubs. This year, UD Running Club competed in the Great Lakes Regionals in Bloomington, Ind.
“It was a great opportunity to see the results of their training,” Schulz said. “It was also a great way to grow closer as a team.”
Schulz said that driving to the race allowed for a sense of community and team bonding that they otherwise would not have been able to have.
More than 10 universities from surrounding colleges, including the University of Cincinnati and the Ohio State University, competed for medals. UD brought home a medal with a fifth place in the women’s race.
The men ran an 8K and the women ran a 6K in the regional race.
“The best part of the running club is meeting new people and making friends,” Kearns said. “I have definitely become a lot closer to some of the runners, older and younger alike. It’s a great way to meet people with the same interests!”
For more information about UD Running Club email email@example.com.