Keep on Running: The UK Frontrunner Clubs Get Creative

“Don’t meet up.  Don’t get close to others.  Don’t race.  Don’t sit-down mid-run on a bench…”  With all the restrictions on activity during the UK’s lockdown it would be easy to think “why bother”, yet we know that running is good not just for physical but for mental health.  Across the UK our Frontrunner family of LGBT+ clubs has found creative ways to motivate their members.

Some are weekly ideas, such as Edinburgh Frontrunners weekly challenge (last week: hill runs). Some are daily, like the Birmingham Swifts “take a selfie of something with the letter (x)” – see below their creative ideas for the letter R!

There have been lots of online events such as Zoom quizzes (within and between clubs – thanks Liverpool Frontrunners to the invite to your quiz the last 2 weeks) and aerobic or strength and conditioning sessions (who needs Joe Wicks?)  Brighton and Hove have had various challenges, from publishing training sessions to Strava Word challenges (run so that your run route forms a word – see below:)

In the past week even more expansive events have started. Glasgow Frontrunners kicked off by turning their monthly Big Club Run into the Big UK Club Run, encouraging all LGBT+ club members to run and upload photos.  Over 100 runners from across the UK took part, with 31 just from Newcastle.

This was followed by Manchester Frontrunners holding a “virtual” It’s a Piece of Cake 10k in place of the cancelled physical race, encouraging runners to run 10k and then eat some cake, posting selfies of their cake munching.

Within NFR four of our runners got together and devised a Bingo challenge for the month of May.  4 Bingo cards have been created around different themes, and runners need to complete all 6 challenges on a card before shouting “Bingo” and uploading their evidence on our Strava club.  Each successfully completed card earns a place in a raffle at the end of the month.  The idea has inspired several runners who had lost their mojo and not run since lockdown, with one saying, “this is fabulous!! Such a brilliant idea – I needed a fun and exciting way to encourage my running shoes back on… can’t wait to get creative! Thanks.”As distancing continues there are bound to be further initiatives to keep our clubs motivated, and we look forward to stealing the best ideas 🙂 Stay healthy, stay fit, stay strong.