The UD Running Club after a practice where they ran along the Great Miami River. Photo courtesy of Miller.
Zoë Hill | Print Editor-in-Chief
Some University of Dayton students are running from class to class, sprinting to work and racing to club meetings. Tori Miller does all that and still has the time — and energy — to run for fun.
I caught up with Miller, the president of the university’s Running Club, to find out about UD’s fastest club, but more importantly, how someone could possibly like running that much.
Before becoming president, the senior English major served as the club’s vice president last year and the social chair the year before. She joined the club as a first-year and has stuck with it all four years.
Miller first heard of the UD Running Club where most first-year students get their first taste of UD’s 200-plus student organizations: Up the Orgs. The then-treasurer asked Miller if she wanted to join the Running Club when she noticed her checking out the club’s table. Miller asked if it was at all competitive, and her question was met with laughter and a reassuring “No.”
The club offers practices every weekday. Officers rotate which days they will lead the practice to make sure they can have practices frequently and make attending them easy for club members’ schedules. Miller leads practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30 p.m., Fridays at 4 p.m. and the occasional 10 a.m. runs on Saturdays.
So far this fall, the club has participated in two competitions — the Striders Invitational at Miami University and Ohio Wesleyan University’s XC Invite.
The runners also take on 5k, 6k, and 8k races throughout the year. Their next one is the 2022 Springboro Christmas Festival 5K Run and Walk at Christmas in Historic Springboro on Nov. 19 at 9 a.m.
“Some competitive races — people really like those — but we also have some fun themed road races,” Miller said.
Miller’s favorite part of Running Club really has nothing to do with running, though.
“I absolutely love being part of the team,” Miller said. “I love the atmosphere of walking to Running Club practice, because I know that I have the most fun with the people in the club. The connections are unmatched. You meet some of the best people.”
She said the club brings her so much joy to be a part of and she couldn’t imagine not doing it. Miller has met some of her best friends through Running Club, but she has also learned quite a lot. Like, for instance, how to play Ultimate Frisbee. Frisbee Fridays on Stuart Field with the Running Club is one of her best memories with her clubmates.
One of the best times to build community with people is when you’re stranded in a UD van for two hours after it broke down coming back from a hike, Miller said.
She also just loves getting to support her Running Club friends as they compete. When they went to Ohio Wesleyan University, Tori joined the women on the side of the course as they cheered on the men while they raced.
“Everybody got to wear one of our jerseys, and we got to cheer each other on because there was a guy’s race and a girl’s race,” Miller said. “We took a lot of fun pictures and went to the Culvers afterwards.
“It was really cool because our boys did actually beat a D3 collegiate cross country running team, so it was a good moment for everybody and we all had a great showing.”
If all of this team-building, frisbee-throwing and custard-eating sounds like something you would want to take part in, Miller said anyone can join at any time, and there is a one-time $20 fee to go toward race registration fees. Some races can be costly, but the club covers the fees with funding from the Student Government Association to make sure everyone who wants to run, can.
As for the rest of Miller’s senior year in the Running Club, she’s looking forward to returning to the Intramural Ultimate Frisbee Competition. Last year, the Running Club team lost in the finals.
Also on the books for the Running Club is a run to the Carillon Park — a four-mile round-trip jaunt in freezing (and sometimes snowy) weather — during Christmas on Campus to see the bell tower lit up like a Christmas tree.
And of course, Miller let me in on why she loves running so much.
“I love the way I feel after a run. You feel like you’ve accomplished something,” Miller said. “Then when you do that activity with other people, it makes you feel more connected to them, and it builds that sense of unity that I feel like I don’t get from anything else. Running is the one thing that I feel the closest to the people I’m doing it with.
“Everyone’s suffering together, and it’s great.”
You can join the Running Club on 1850.