5 friendly running clubs to join in January (from ‘couch to 5K’ to marathon training)
You never know, you could be the next Phil Healy.
Joining a running club can add a social and supportive aspect to your exercise routine.
Lots of people like to train alone to help their focus, but being part of a team can give you that extra push, whether it’s the 26th mile of a marathon or a little shove to get you off the couch.
Most clubs have different levels within them, so whether you get a stitch after a minute, or you’re one of those people who runs confidently down the Marina on a Saturday afternoon without turning beetroot red, they’ll find a group for you.
Running has many benefits, including weight loss and fitness. Fans also say it can improve your mental health and help you to enjoy a better night’s sleep.
Here’s a rundown of the groups you can join on Leeside:
1. The Wibbly Wobbly Wonders, Ballyvolane
This free-of-charge running group meets every Tuesday and Thursday Evening at 7.30pm in the Dunnes Stores car park in Ballyvolane, across from the Fox and Hounds pub.
Mentors lead the pace and you can join whichever level group you feel ready for. All groups follow the same route so if it’s too fast for you, simply fall back into a slower group until you get more comfortable.
See their Facebook or Instagram for more details.
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2. St. Finbarr’s AC
This athletic club meets at the Mardyke track every Wednesday and Friday night at 6pm. They also have an easy run session at 6.15pm every Monday followed by a few hills where they meet at the top of Mardyke Lane.
They describe themselves as a friendly, inviting, and inclusive club where all runners are welcome to try out or join.
They train everyone from occasional joggers to serious competitors with their coached sessions. You can see more information on their membership fees on their website.
3. Douglas Meet & Train Running Group
The free Douglas Meet & Train Running Group meets at 7pm outside Costa in Douglas Court Shopping Centre, on Mondays and Wednesdays, with extra dates arranged through a private WhatsApp group.
You can turn up on the night, the group accepts all levels and they have a starter group where no one gets left behind, as well as three, four, five and six-mile groups.
Their ethos is about starting running and improving, it’s not about running fast, so anyone who wants to join is more than welcome.
See their Facebook page for more details.
4. Cork Frontrunners
Cork Frontrunners is an LGBT+ running club and a member of the Frontrunners International movement.
They post a weekly schedule on their Facebook page, where they cover all the grounds of Cork with weekly meets in Tramore Valley Park, Kennedy Park, and The Marina.
They even go for Guji after, so it’s a fun social addition to your week too.
5. Clonakilty Roadrunners AC
Ideal if you’re based in West Cork, this group caters for all levels of running so no matter if you are trying to run a 5km or all the way up to the ultra-marathon, you will have plenty of training partners, fun and advice along the way.
- Tuesday: 7pm – Clonakilty Showgrounds
- Thursday: 6.45pm – Deasy’s car park
- Saturday: 8am – Long Runs Meet at Park Cinema
See more on their membership fees here
For a full list of local running groups, see Cork Athletics or Cork Running.