Run club sprinting in the right direction

What started as a way to exercise outside a gym has become the next big thing on campus.

David Alvarez and Michael Caballero have been busy since the Spring of 2012 adding to improve their run club, but turnout has amazed them.

“We’ve grown a lot,” Alvarez said. “The biggest thing is just consistency. Having a solid group every time we come out and we’ve had a really good base of people that have been coming since the beginning of the semester and it’s been growing ever since.”

For Alvarez and Caballero, it started of as an idea of bringing others together, but that idea has since become a reality they never expected.

“It’s been great,” Caballero said. “The whole vision in the beginning, when we started, was to try to build something that could get the whole FIU community involved, students and non-students alike, and I think we’ve seen a transition towards realizing that goal, that vision.”

In most gyms and workout sessions, working out in groups doesn’t tend to fit well for others, but for this club, forming friendships matter.

Graduate student and veteran runner Rhett Willamson enjoys the friendly competition.

“Having people that I can socially run with but also challenge me because there’s really fast guys here,” Williamson said. “It’s nice to run with other people who are pushing me to get better but also be motivation for other people. It’s a feedback loop, we motivate each other to keep in shape and keep running.”

The club has also added the support of several local and big name sponsorships to support the club and bring in new faces.

“We’re always trying to bring in new sponsors and new vendors to give out free stuff,” Caballero said. “We have Muscle Milk very involved now. KIND snacks has been kind to us and given us a lot of free stuff as well and SoleRUNNERS, without question, has been our biggest supporter.”

Though they are a club by university standards, Alvarez and Caballero try to stay away from the club mentality, rather, a community with its own goals and aspirations.

“I know it’s called FIU Run Club, it’s considered a club and registered as a club, but we try not to think of it really as a club and definitely not as a team,” Caballero said. “It’s more of just a community within a community, with a goal of just bringing everyone together and as many people as possible on a weekly basis.”

The club hasn’t just gotten the community involved, but it has also given several people the opportunity to compete in different races and marathons that have been going on throughout the Magic City.

Both Alvarez and Caballero are expected to graduate within the next few months and even though they plan to keep their presence with the club, concern as to who will take over this growing club has come up.

Though the club has been a great success for both men, they both agree that when the time comes, they will have to untie their shoes and hand the baton over to a new generation of run lovers.

“We have a lot of people that have been with us for a while now and they’ve seen the whole transition and they’ve seen the whole project as we do and see the whole point behind it,” Caballero said. “That’s the student club side of the whole thing, that’s the beauty, it’ll continue once we’re gone,” Caballero said. “Hopefully we can come back years down the road and join them for a run every now and then.”


About the Author

Patrick Chalvire
: Radio Host for Panther Sports Talk Live. Assistant Sports Director for The Beacon. Majoring in Communication Arts. Sports fan and aspiring anchor.

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