Running for friendship and self-esteem in the LGBT community

Vada Voices

Investing your energy in something as energising as running is really rewarding. Being part of a running group, you will find a member to comfortably run and train with.

Joining an LGBT running group can help you boost your self-esteem, connect with like-minded people in a sober setting, and expand your social networks. It teaches self-motivation, and provides a sense of achievement for those who take part.

Plus, running has many health benefits, including benefits for your mood and mental health.

London Frontrunners

This inclusive running and triathlon club was formed in 1995 for LGBT people and the general public. Anyone can join, regardless of sexuality, gender, fitness level, preferred distance, pace, or sexual orientation.

As part of the International Frontrunners, they have over 500 members and run on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Training and coaching sessions are also offered thrice a week. After each run, drinks, dinner, or brunch are made available for members.

The group regularly organises social events and trips in and around the UK.

Birmingham Swifts

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This LGBT running group is free and open to anyone who wants to run. The aim of this group is to ensure that anyone who wants to can achieve their running goals in a helpful environment. Even people with no running experience enjoy the friendly run environment and schedules.

Social runs are held on Thursdays, while park runs with the Birmingham community are on Saturdays. Although membership is free, inclusive technical training sessions are not.

Brighton & Hove Frontrunners

This group, which centres running as a social activity for its members, is also affiliated with the international Frontrunners. Like most sporting groups, it aims for inclusivity and promotes community fitness, as well as fun.

Currently, the group meets only on Wednesdays at 7pm behind King Alfred Leisure Centre, beach side. They run for 3km in a relaxed manner, then go for an optional second lap.

Dundee Frontrunners

This running club was founded in 2018 for the LGBT community and its allies. Located in Dundee, Scotland, its membership is open to anyone who wants to run. They are affiliated with the Frontrunners and are supported by other clubs in Scotland.

Manchester Frontrunners

This is the only LGBT running club in Manchester and it is open to anyone. Training sessions are held in the morning on Saturdays and at night on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The club is affiliated with the International Frontrunners and the Manchester Athletics Network. Running schedules and tips are usually posted on their website. Members often have food or drinks after runs.

Liverpool Frontrunners

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This friendly, inclusive group meets every Wednesday evening at the Greenbank Sports Academy for a social run. Members participate in Frontrunner events as well as other races and runs organised by other running groups.

On occasion, members socialise through parties, trips, and occasional meals.

Gay Outdoor Club

This activity club is located in London and is open to everyone. LGBT members and their friends can join and participate in any of the over 500 outdoor and sporting events that take place within the year.

Having been active for over 40 years, a lot of friendships, relationships, and opportunities have been achieved by the club. Members have to pay about £17 yearly.

Northern Frontrunners

This fast-growing club was set up in 2011 for LGBT and LGBT-friendly runners in north-east England. After the first two running sessions, new members have to pay a commitment fee of £36 per year, including registration for UK Athletics.

Members meet on Wednesdays at 6.30pm and Sundays at 9am at Gosforth Pool.

Glasgov Frontrunners

This award-winning inclusive community aims to help everyone, from 18 years and over, to get the most out of running. The runs are designed to suit the full range of running abilities and take runners through the scenes of Greater Glasgow.

After a free first week, membership costs £28/annum.

About the author

Sofia Alves is an avid runner, conveyor of messages, sunshine addict. Guided by the belief that health is a choice, she recently started sharing her knowledge as a contributing writer at Jogging Addiction. In her free time, you can usually find her sharing stories with friends over a glass of dry wine and a plate of her favourite pesto spaghetti. 

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