After 8 Years: Inside Skidmore's Running Club
As a follow up to last week’s article discussing why Skidmore lacks both a varsity track and field and cross-country team, The Skidmore News has decided to continue investigating running at Skidmore. This week, the newspaper interviewed four students who are attempting to bring back a running club to Skidmore after an eight-year hiatus.
There have been past attempts in recent years to start a running club, with their charter even dating back to 2011. According to the new club president, Madison Collins ‘20, “Either last semester or last year a student went to SGA and tried to start the club but, in the end, she really couldn’t commit to all the time that it took to run the club.”
The other three students who make up the new running club executive board (e-board) include Philip Gardner ‘20, Tina Irrera ‘19, and James Grayson ‘20. While all four of the e-board say they run between three to six days a week, each has different experiences running long distance.
While Gardner, Irrea and Grayson each ran for their high school’s respective cross-country teams, Collins never ran for her high-school team. Collins explains: “I was actually a swimmer all my life. I didn’t run on a team. But then I picked up running my senior year of high school and from then on I kind of just built myself up into an experienced runner from the ground up.”
Collins thinks that her unique background as a runner can help the club attract students who want to start running—as they are open to runners from all levels of experience.
“I understand both what it’s like for someone who’s new to running to come in and have to build themselves up from scratch,” explained Collins. “But I’m, and also the rest of us, are at that point where we can relate to other people that have lots of experience running in both informal and organized settings.”
Collins said that she decided to try to start a running club because she “saw there was a big demand for runners on this campus, and since we don’t have a Varsity Track of Cross-Country Team I was kind of like, ‘Well, why not?’”
Gardner, the club vice-president, also added that “running is incredibly individual. When you run you sort of run against yourself because it’s you versus your own body, and you race against your own times and personal bests.”
However, he added that running can also be an extremely communal activity because “it’s something that connects you to others. When I go somewhere I’m like, ‘That’s a runner!’ That’s how you connect and get to know them.”
In fact, Gardner said that running is so important to him that his first thought when he came to Skidmore was, “How can I connect with other runners?”
Irrea, who serves as secretary for the club, mentions that, for the moment, the club does not have an official coach. One of the club’s goals is to try to set up transportation to organized running events around the area that students can participate in. Irrea points to the upcoming Five Mile Trail Race happening at the Saratoga Spa State Park on Nov. 4 as a potential example of an event the club would love to participate in.
Ultimately, the running club e-board wants their running club to provide an avenue for students who want to try to run on a competitive cross-country team. At the same time, the club will provide a space for people who want to begin running or have other personal reasons for doing so.
When asked how the new e-board would differ from previous attempts, Collins stated that, “Its [success] really comes down to organization and getting the name out there, and above all passing the club on every year. [Also,] there are so many different ways to run, and people run for lots of different reasons. We’re trying to be really open to everyone but yet consistent.”