Group running for women

A new women's running group is offering an intimidation-free running environment

Sooke women chasing a running club exclusively for women can now stop in their tracks.

The Sooke Women’s Running Club is a competitive running group for all types of women.

“Running is accessible to everyone, all you need is a pair of running shoes,” said Christine Traynor, club co-founder.

“With that being said, we’re hoping to attract a diverse group of women from all ages and backgrounds, so that it makes for a more interesting group.”

Traynor, who conceived of the idea for a women’s running group two years ago, said the purpose is to help facilitate interaction amongst Sooke’s female runners and encourage safety in numbers.

“It’s a good way to meet people and also to stay motivated with your training. It’s a lot easier when you know someone is waiting for you to get out there,” she said.

In terms of safety, Traynor said it’s not people that are a cause for concern, but wildlife.

“It sounds funny, but it’s factual that it is a concern in this area.”

Weekly trail and road runs will be organized to start with, but Traynor expects more to be added as participant numbers grow.

The group is open to all levels of runners, but members are expected to be able to run for 20 to 30 minute stretches.

“It doesn’t have to be fast, we’re all at different levels,” Traynor said. “[But] we are stressing the fact that you need to be a runner, it’s not a learn-to-run group.”

The group will also hopefully serve as a network to help women of similar running abilities connect and develop a running buddy relationship.

So far, the club has attracted new moms who miss the sound of their running shoes hitting the pavement and women looking to train for marathons.

“We’re competitive, but with ourselves meaning we all have goals and we want to improve our running, but the group itself is supportive, not competitive,” Traynor said.

Other activities within the club include breakfast meetings, liaisons with other fitness professionals in fields like yoga and strength training, community involvement or volunteerism, and participation in competitive races like the Vancouver Island race series.

The club will be holding their first meeting and run on Sunday, Nov. 4.

To join or find more information, visit: www.meetup.com/Sooke-Womens-Running-Club/