North Texas Daily

Running club creates supportive environment for all runners at UNT

Running club creates supportive environment for all runners at UNT

Running club creates supportive environment for all runners at UNT
March 24
15:25 2018

Running means something different to everyone. Some despise it or refuse it while others accept it and embrace it. With the running club at North Texas, though, it is more meaningful.

“Running basically everything to me,” said junior Isabel Dominguez, vice president of UNT’s running club.

The running club consists of a few different aspects. The first is, well, running but the relationships and motivation being with others provides while attempting to better one’s health is another major plus.

“Running in a group is safer, and it is better to train with people,” Dominguez said. “Not only just for training purposes, but just mentally having a team makes me a better runner.”

Kelsey Shoemaker

This club may be one of the most obscure clubs at the university, but it remains one of the most prominent ones to those a part of it. Running can be important to someone trying to stay or get in shape, but here they push their members to do even more than they expect from themselves.

“I joined the club to find a new group of friends and also to motivate me to run harder and to run more,” club president Stephen Hidalgo said. “I was not competitive until I joined the club, and that is what made me faster. Not everyone in the club is competitive. We all just feed off of each others pace. It is a very team oriented club.”

Last year, the club was made up of about 10 people and five would show up to practice. This year, though, their membership exploded to about 50 people with an average of 20 showing up to practice. Hidalgo and Dominguez put in the effort to recruit people, and it is paying off in their increased numbers.

“The best way to recruit is at student orientation fairs during the summer and all of the campus events they have throughout the year,” Hidalgo said. “Mean Green Fling was also the best way to get our club out there.”

 One of the new members is freshmen Anna San Miguel who has been running since the seventh grade and enjoys the new experience.

“I wanted to get involved with a club on campus, and I wanted to maintain running,” San Miguel said. “I knew I didn’t want to be on the cross country team, but I still wanted to be a part of running. It clears my mind, and I just like being outside a lot, so it is just a way to get in a good workout, while enjoying the weather.”

While running for a lot of people is daunting, some runners get to a point in their workout where they get a second wind or a runner’s high. This feeling alone can be the main attraction to casual and competitive running.

“A runner’s high is probably the best feeling in the world,” Hidalgo said. “It’s a little hard to explain. I typically only get a runner’s high when I am doing longer distances. I would say its an unstoppable feeling, that makes you never want to stop [running].”

Running appreciation varies from person to person, which makes this club unappealing to a lot of people, but they stress inclusion and know the impact a good run can have.

“Just anytime you’re in a bad mood you go for a run, you just feel relaxed and clean,” Dominguez said. “All the stress is gone. You feel like you did something.”

Hidalgo has plans for his club and likes to see them achieve their group and individual goals. While a lot of their progress is individual, they still serve as a team going into every practice and competition.

“It is such a rewarding experience seeing everybody train for their first 5k, 10k or half marathon and seeing them actually do it and not give up in the middle of training,” Hidalgo said. “As the semester goes on [the running club’s] main goal is basically to compete in a half marathon in Oklahoma.”

For the members of the club, running is a health benefit and fun competition. They also stress the fact that running is for any and everyone and getting started is the toughest part.

“I basically run to keep my fitness in check, and it is a stress reliever away from school and everything,” Hidalgo said. “Everybody thinks you have to be fast to be called a runner. You can honestly be any level and consider yourself a runner.”

Featured Image: The UNT running club does light stretches on March 17 at Pohl Recreation Center before running. Kelsey Shoemaker

About Author

Stefan Washington

Stefan Washington

UNT Advertising Major| NT Daily sports writer

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