Throughout her freshman and sophomore years at Elon, senior Maddie Walter wondered why there was no intramural running club on campus. Wanting to find a new community of runners, she decided to take matters into her own hands.
“Coming onto campus my freshman year, I was never able to find a running club. Sophomore year it was the same as well. So, my junior year, I decided I should make one of my own, which turned into ElonRUNS,” Walter said.
Walter created ElonRUNS last fall. However, the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the start of the club. Now a year later, ElonRUNS is finally getting its start.
The club hosts weekly runs every Thursday at 5:30 pm. Walter said she hopes ElonRUNS will provide organized runs that are easy to schedule into a busy day, while also encouraging students to participate in a new community of runners.
Beginning at Oak House, the usual Thursday run is either a three mile or 5k around campus. Walter said that on average 10 to 15 runners attend each week, but with every run, the leadership team is hoping those numbers will continue to climb.
“We definitely have regulars, and lots of new freshmen as well, which will help the club stay strong in the long run,” Walter said.
Walter’s leadership team includes Treasurer Allen Fleming and Communications Manager Carissa Potter. The group of three teamed up with the graduate school physical therapy program’s running club, and made ElonRUNS a cohesive group between undergraduate and graduate students.
There is no skill level or past experience necessary to be a part of ElonRUNS, making the club a great way to get exercise with no stakes or expectations to live up to. There is no pace requirement, and groups of runners tend to break off throughout the run to their own comfort levels.
Fleming said their goal is to create a very “low-key” environment and serve as a benefit for its members, not for serious competition.
“We are not a competitive running team and we do not participate in any meets or extensive practices,” Fleming said.
Walter said they are excited to finally get the club up and running after a lengthy delay.
“After last year being COVID, we are all really excited to get things running in full swing this fall,” Walter said.
Elon Runs has also created a way to reward its members for participating. For every five runs attended, members earn a t-shirt, and for every two runs, a sticker. The club also participates in certified outdoor yoga sessions a few times a month to help runners with soreness, injury prevention and recovery times.
Potter, Fleming, and Walter have all said with each week, there is an increase in runners and they hope that it stays that way. After a successful first few months heading into the fall, this is only the beginning for the organization and its future. With the leadership team and dedicated members of all different age groups, the sky's the limit for ElonRUNS.