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Notre Dame Running Club expands to include men

| Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Women’s Running Club recently expanded to include men under the new name of the Notre Dame Running Club. The women placed third and the men finished fifth at regionals, which took place at the University of Kentucky two weekends ago.

Senior Claire Brady and junior Liam O’Connor, co-presidents of the running club, said they received approval from RecSports to merge the two groups right before fall break.

“It worked out really nicely since we were changing our constitution a little bit, changing our club-tier status to include both competitive and non-competitive components,” Brady said. “It’s been a very good collaboration in the few weeks that it’s been going on.”

O’Connor said the men’s running group went through a long process of getting approval. Since there was a moratorium on new clubs by RecSports due to limited resources, Brady said expanding the club to include men seemed sensible.

“The men’s running club was denied officially three semesters in a row, and at that point we reached out to the women’s club and started working on the possibility of one co-ed club,” O’Connor said.

Merging with the women’s running club meant the men could officially race in competitions since runners are required to be a part of a recognized club in order to compete in the league, Brady said.

“I think there are over a hundred members of the NIRCA (National Intercollegiate Running Club Association), which is the league, so pretty much every major institution [participates],” O’Connor said.

Sophomore John Riordan said races include the majority of the Division-I running schools.

“We’re in the most competitive region, so Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State are all really good,” O’Connor said.

While the fall season consists mainly of cross-country races, O’Connor said the running club trains year-round and combines three sports into one: cross country, track and road races.

“We do want to stress that [the club is] open to runners of all levels and experience … ” Brady said. “Grad students can join as well, and they’re allowed to compete in the league too, so that’s pretty cool.”

Women interested in joining the running club can either email Brady at cbrady5@nd.edu or show up to practice, which Brady said is held Mondays and Wednesdays at 5 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. on God Quad.

Junior Bridget Bruns, running club treasurer, said the club is a great way to get active and be outside.

“It’s a great community, and I love all the girls,” she said. “If you like running, you should join.”

The men’s team meets at 4 p.m. at the steps of LaFortune Student Center, and Brady said men interested in joining the club can either show up to practice or email O’Connor at loconno4@nd.edu.

“The guys have daily practice, and most active members show up at least three times a week,” O’Connor said.

Running with the club is a great outlet for people to relieve stress, get outside and run, Riordan said.

“You can come to as many practices as you want,” Brady said. “We also have fun runs on the weekends. We went to a park nearby to run some trails last Saturday, and I think we’ll try to do some more things like that.”

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About Carolyn Hutyra

Carolyn Hutyra serves as an Assistant News Editor for The Observer. She is a senior from Arlington Heights, Illinois studying Biology and Anthropology.

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