As part of the part of the #BeYourself campaign not only do we highlight individuals that proudly encourage others to be themselves, but also, we have highlighted groups, clubs and organisations that enable us as a community to be ourselves, build friendships with our peers and build upon our amazing LGBT community. Dublin front runners is a running club for gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans runners and friends. They welcome runners of all abilities, whether beginners or experienced, recreational or competitive. One of the front runners members Séamus describes his journey and experiences with the amazing club.
My name is Séamus Mc Loughlin. I have been a member of the Dublin Frontrunners (DFR) for just over six years now. How time flies! I joined the Club in 2011 when I was going through a challenging time in my life and, from day one, I found the Club to be friendly, welcoming and, above all, great fun!
I had been doing some running on my own before I joined the Club and have always found getting out and running to be a great outlet and a great way to “clear the head”! However, joining the Frontrunners opened up a whole new world for me. This included being able to run at my own pace in the company of LGBT peers, having a relaxed chat and a laugh over coffee afterwards, being able to enter races as part of a lovely, supportive group as well as having the opportunity to participate in lots of other social activities throughout the year.
Through the Club, I have made an unbelievable number of friends – wonderful, kind people on whom I can rely (I hope they feel they can rely on me too!) in good times and bad. We have gone on lots of foreign trips with the Club, including running events abroad and these are always the best fun ever! As the Frontrunners is a worldwide movement, the opportunity to meet up with club members in other countries is another great advantage.
For me, my participation in Dublin Frontrunners has been, and is, a really life-enhancing and all round fantastic experience!
I can vouch for the fact that the Club is a truly, welcoming space for LGBT people (and their friends and relatives!). With the introduction of the “Couch to 5k” programme to the Club in recent years, non-runners can come along to the Club, give running a try in a really friendly and fun atmosphere, and go on from there to take their running career in whatever direction they wish.
Another great way to “put your toe in the water” with the Club is to sign up for our annual charity 5K Pride Run (this year, it takes place in the Phoenix Park at 7.30pm on Friday, June 16th – see here and book early as entry is limited to 600 participants!). All are welcome to either run or walk the Pride Run 5K and to come along to a great social evening afterwards at the Garda Boat Club in Islandbridge.
Perhaps a far better indicator of the success of the Club than any words of mine is the fact that our membership has tripled to around 200 men and women over the last five years or so – testament to excellent leadership from dedicated chairpersons and committee members in creating what is, without question, a winning formula!!
Come on folks – put on those runners and come out and give it a try! It has enhanced my life in the most marvellous way – it can be the same for you, for sure!