Running Club sprints off to a start this semester

Kalee Chism

When students enter their freshman year, finding involvement on campus is a vital part of making it their new home. 

Sometimes, though, the options can be improved. Freshmen Taylor Reyes and Hannah Good found something lacking in campus involvement and took the matter into their own hands.

Reyes of Richmond Hill, Georgia, and Good of Park Hills wanted a way to connect with other runners on campus. When their dreams of a running club went unfulfilled, they began working on creating a club themselves.

“At my freshmen orientation and then at subsequent campus activity fairs, I kept asking people, ‘Where is your running club? I want people to run with,’” Good said. “Then I met Taylor, who was also a runner.”

They began the process of creating a Running Club by going through Cybbi Barton, who is a graduate assistant for sports clubs, a component of WKU’s intramural recreational sports department.  After a club constitution and other paperwork were submitted and the department of Student Activities and Organizations approved, running is now an official club sport.

“There’s a lot of paperwork, but it’s not super difficult,” Good said.

The goal of the club is to create the on-campus running community Good said the university is missing out on.

“The main point of it is just to provide a running community for runners on campus, which is very much lacking at this point,” she said.

Reyes said the hardest part of the process has been building up club membership and advertising it.

“We’ve held maybe three or four meetings, and people showing up to those has been kind of slow. So I would say that’s the hardest thing we’ve dealt with so far,” Reyes said.

Geology instructor Margaret Crowder, the Running Club’s adviser, said she hopes the club brings together people of various fitness levels on campus and creates opportunities for students as well as faculty and staff to improve their overall health.

“It should be a good time for people to meet others who are interested in running and to make new friends,” Crowder said via email.

Another way the club supports its members is by giving them experience in the activity even if they have not run in an on-campus or community environment before. This is true for Corbin freshman Annika Smith, now a member of the Running Club.

“I’m looking forward to getting more experience with running and being able to grow in that area because I’ve had a goal in that area and wanted to improve myself in that for a long time,” Smith said.

The club is hoping to expand in the upcoming year by running races held in and around Bowling Green and recruiting upcoming freshmen at events such as M.A.S.T.E.R. Plan and the Topper Orientation Program.

“Next year we’re really hoping that membership will kind of blow up because the freshmen class is going to be coming in,” Reyes said.

Good said the club is also hoping to run official races, such as the BG 26.2 or the Medical Center 10K, as an organization, but the goal for the remainder of the semester is to continue to establish its foundation.

“Our goal for the rest of the semester is just to get everything set into place so that we can head into next semester really strong,” Good said.