Back in January I started a new running group in Tooting. The key focus was getting people active during the week, creating a community in the local area, but also a safe space in which people feel they can talk freely and openly about their mental health. The group is part of a broader network created by Jess Robson called RunTalkRun that host similar runs all over the UK and further afield.
I’ve lived in Tooting Bec for 4 years and realised I knew very few people that lived close by. I believed that with an abundance of people working long hours, and living in shared housing (often with people they didn’t know) the potential to feel quite isolated can be high. What I didn’t expect was how over the past 4 months from the first week where nobody showed up, we have now grown to 40 strong in number with 20-30 people attending every week.
RunTalkRun isn’t about speed it’s about getting out amongst good people and running 5km. We have 4 different pace groups and we run the streets of Tooting, Balham and Wandsworth. It’s for all paces, and all headspaces. It’s been something I look forward to every week and incredibly cathartic at times to be able to run and talk about what’s going on in my head.
The people are what makes runtalkrun tick. This group have embraced the idea and made it their own setting up additional social meet ups including ParkRuns, coffees, pub quizzes and open mic nights. I believe in 2019 it’s easy to lose faith in community and the people around you. To have something free, non-committal and ultimately putting people first is so important.
If you’re interested come along to the Wheatsheaf Pub on Mondays at 7:15pm. It’s weekly and free and we often stick around for a drink afterwards. If you want to know any information in advance drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or DM me on instagram (@Pewts_)