THE JOY OF RUNNING

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Some members of Rose Hill Runners

Rose Hill Runners Keep Running Strong & Steady

By Neil Mukherjee Fitpro

Running has been a passion of Oxford for many years. This free-spirited exercise brings me back to the news of the death of Sir Roger Bannister in March 2018, who achieved the notable under 4-minute mile run in March 1954.

The first thought that comes to mind when looking around the streets and the local area in Oxford is noticing Oxford’s passion to run and to make it one’s way of life to keep fit and stay healthy.

Running is one of our natural instincts to keep fit and to engage with the outdoors in a fun and social or individual way. Running is one major cardio exercise that engages the whole body and activates the cardio-respiratory and circulatory system, as well as engaging the leg muscles and upper body. It also helps to activate the mind’s ability to focus and concentrate.

A local running group based in Rose Hill called Rose Hill Runners, was founded in August 2014, and for the past 4 years they’ve been running strong and steady to date.

I went to visit Rose Hill Runners in March at Rose Hill Community Centre. A Rose Hill Runner runs every Monday evening from 7pm and finishes around 8.30 pm with a well-earned static stretch after a modest 5 K run. There is a brief social get together at the reception to allow the body to cool down and to catch up with how every one has been keeping in the week. Above all, the running experience is fun, friendly and free for all Rose Hill Runner members.

I was initially greeted by Trev Williams the lead runner of Rose Hill Runners. He was most welcoming and introduced me to a few other evening runners. One key element that each runner has is the passion to run and looking forward to meeting up as a local community of runners, to motivate and inspire each other to keep running strong each week.  There were about 10 to 15 runners who attended that evening.

I then spoke to Nick, a very active 62 years of age Ukrainian man, who has been living in the UK for the past 10 years. Nick tells me that he has been running steady for around 50 years or so and initially started running since the age of 9 years in Ukraine and was previously a member of the Ukrainian team. He finds running with a local group being very different from running alone. Nick explains: “You have to run with a task and you have to keep up with a group.” Nick drew upon the motivational and social element of running several times in our conversation, which was welcoming and reassuring to hear that running can be great when running together.

Charlotte, who has been a local resident of Rose Hill for the past 3 ½ years, joined Rose Hill Runners last August and gave me further insight into how the evening run takes place. She said: “We are usually split into separate groups depending on speeds and we have a lead runner within that group.”

Florence who attended Rose Hill Runners on his second run with the group that evening, found out about the running group: “Through a social app called Next Door”. I asked Florence how his first experience with Rose Hill Runners was, his response was very enthusiastic as he told me that running with RHR was: “Very friendly, very informal. You just arrive, warmed up a little and then set off, we just run along side by side and we chat about where we come from and what we do and what our running interests are.”

Jenny, who has been living locally in Oxford for nearly 2 years revealed how she was drawn to RHR: “I just saw them running at the Cowley Road Carnival, they were running with this sign up and I thought, I would look them up”.

Lastly, I spoke to Matt who has been living in Rose Hill for about 5 years. I asked Matt about how he first got involved with Rose Hill Runners. Matt’s story is quite different in that he had been looking at them for a period of time before going for the run with the team. He said: “Rose Hill Runners used to meet just outside my flat, so I used to sit watching them run every Monday night before I finally committed to turning up.”

Each runner has their own individual story of joining Rose Hill Runners, but the common core of what brings every runner together is their shear enjoyment of running together with a local group that has a broad neighbourly approach and a thirst for running and keeping fit within the local community. I was privileged to get to talk the members of the Rose Hill Runners and wish them my very best to continue their running journey. If you would like to know more about Rose Hill Runners, then you can request to join their Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/330614737106826/ or visit: www.RoseHillRunners.co.uk