President Allison Alberts speaks on the inclusivity of running club


Photo retrieved from the UWL Running Club MyOrgs page.

Jack O'Donnell, Sports Reporter

At the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, there are a vast number of clubs and student organizations. The running club provides any student, no matter what their running ability is, a group to exercise with. “Anybody can come, any pace. I like to keep it a friendly environment,” said fourth-year student and president of the running club, Allison Alberts. She said there also is no set time, come when you want to. “We communicate on GroupMe [group messaging app], and there’s set meeting time,” says Albert. 

“For example, someone might say ‘Hey I am meeting at 4:00’ and whoever shows up can come run,” said third-year student Jillian Weston. “We meet at Myrick Park and usually run three to five miles,” Albert said. She said they also create a safe environment if you don’t like to run alone. “My mom was really concerned with me running alone,” said second-year student Emma Eslinger. “Running in a group a lot safer.” 

In addition to cultivating a friendly running environment, they are also trying to do different activities. “We try to do a group spaghetti dinner once a month, and last year we went to the Rotary Lights,” said Alberts. “We are also talking about doing some volunteer work.”

No matter how much or little you run you are welcome to join. “I joined as a freshman last year and I find running to be a stress reliever and fun,” said Eslinger. “I like the social aspect of it,” adds Weston. “A lot of us were in cross country and track in high school.” Albert continues. Alberts says the most common denominator between members is their enthusiasm for fun and the people they meet running. 

UWL hosted the first annual Eagle Fest earlier in the semester. A festival that highlighted UWL’s and La Crosse’s community. “Last year we had 20 people, but now in our GroupMe, we have over 100 people,” Alberts said, which she is contributing this increase in members to Eagle Fest. “I found out about the club through Eagle Fest,” said Weston. While they said the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t hurt how they operated they do attribute the increase in numbers to having more students on campus as well.  

When asked what their favorite part of running club is, all three members said, “The people.” It was mostly talking about how inclusive the club is and how much fun the people are. Alberts wanted people to know that “Any new runner and anyone is welcome, even if you are running the slowest mile, we don’t leave anyone behind.”

You can find the Running Club on MyOrgs. Alberts says that if you are looking for a fun group of inclusive people to run alongside the UWL Running Club is for you.