By: Patrick Chalvire/contributing writer
FIU students Michael Caballero and David Alvarez wanted a new way to workout, but didn’t want to confine themselves inside the walls of a gym.
They wanted to bring students together and have fun, rather than simply attending class and going home. So in spring 2012, they came up with a simple, yet inspirational idea of starting a club for everyone to get and stay in shape, as well as meeting new people in the community: the FIU runner’s club.
“We wanted another way to train for races besides just the gym, and we knew doing it alone or just the two of us was boring and repetitive,” said Caballero, a political science major. “So why not do it outdoors and get others who feel the same way as we do to join?”
Alvarez, a marketing major, said that at first, there wasn’t much talk about concerning the club on campus.
“But after we had our first shoe raffle and posted it on our Facebook page, interest in the club shot up pretty fast,” he said.
No person is denied when applying for the club. Anyone from experienced runners to those who have never spent more than five minutes running outside, have joined and some have even felt a new lifestyle change.
For one member the club changed her outlook on how she lived her day-to-day life.
“It made me more diligent about running and inspired me to run harder. Its always a lot more fun to run with others who enjoy running as much as you do,” says Marie Dominguez, an FIU graduate.
“Being able to see so many new faces come out to our runs and hearing different stories as to what the club has done to them has just been great,” Alvarez said when asked what has been the bright side to it all.
Though the running club does not participate against other schools or communities, it does bring in sponsors and networks with various organizations as well as running stores such as Sole Runners located in Kendall. They have also expanded and networked with other run clubs in Miami such as South Beach Run Club and the Brickell Run Club.
Aside from the change in lifestyle, the club also adds the benefit of networking. Either on a social or personal level, those who have joined usually left having met a new friend or acquaintance. “I met some great people there whom I hope to stay in touch with even after FIU. It made my last semester at FIU more enjoyable,” says Dominguez.
Though young, the club has had as many as 70 people join. They have leveled out with 50 members, but they still cater to providing that lifestyle change to those looking for a change in his or her daily routine. The club incorporates shoe raffles and gives out free smoothies, energy drinks, healthy chocolate and even marathon entry forms to members after a run.
The runner’s club has been great according to Alvarez and Caballero, but they don’t plan to stop anytime soon.
“I see a lot of potential in the club and its growth. We are continuing to expand the relationship the club has to everyone and keep that going,” Alvarez said.
The runner’s club meets every Monday at 6:30 p.m. outside of the FIU Rec Center. If you’re interested in joining, contact Michael Caballero at (305) 301-8061 or firstname.lastname@example.org