Blitz caught up with Daniel from RunSoc, UNSW’s Campus Runners, just in time for the Festival of Sport.
Can you tell us about RunSoc?
RunSoc started in 2015 when our founder Steven realised that a recreational running club didn’t exist after mistaking the Running Man Society (Korean Variety Show) for one. We want to bring longdistance runners together, no matter what physical or mental shape they’re in.
For all the sceptics out there, is running is a sport?
Running is absolutely a sport! Running is more than a sport it’s a lifestyle that can define who you are. It’s 30% physical, 70% mental and can be almost meditative.
What’s your favourite route?
One of our favourite routes is Otford to Bundeena (30km) in the Royal National Park. The best part is running on a cliffside with the ocean to your right, a forest to your left and mountains behind you for miles. It’s breathtaking.
Have the Basser steps been included on a run?
People run up and down the Basser steps enough as it is, but we are planning some runs on the Basser steps.
What gadgets do you use during your runs?
A few of us have got Garmin watches and others carry Fitbits. We also use SPIbelts, which are little pouches strapped around your waist to carry essentials. Sometimes we use bladders in hydration backpacks on long trail runs, so we can drink water through a small nozzle instead of stopping to drink from a bottle.
What’s the funniest thing that’s happened on a run?
On our annual RunSoc trail running camp, I noticed my friends in front of me avoiding mud wherever they saw it. I passed them and shouted, ‘Don’t avoid the mud, embrace it. We’re trail runners!’ I stepped into the next mud puddle, only to see half my right leg sink into it.
Besides going on runs, what else can members get involved with?
We have dinner after each Friday evening run and search for comfort food after bad races. We organise camps and hikes too.
What part of the Festival of Sport are you most excited about?
The fact that it is a celebration of movement! Heaps of people hit the gym, but it’s not the same as shooting hoops or going for a nice run.
Any tips for people who feel too intimidated by your running prowess to join the society?
We cater for all runners with a passion for running, whether you’re experienced or a beginner. Some of us were the slowest runners in high school and we’re still at the tail during runs – but it doesn’t matter as long as you’re trying to improve. Plus we’re all super friendly!