Mason’s Running Club works to run to new lengths
BY HAILEY BULLIS ASSISTANT CULTURE EDITOR
If you ever make your way down to the picnic tables by the Aquatic and Fitness Center Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. you will probably find a group of students warming up to run across campus. If you see them, break a sweat—you have found the Mason’s Running Club.
Mason Running Club welcomes everyone no matter their skill level and is flexible according to a person’s schedule. “If people who are interested in the running club did compete in high school and they kind of miss the cross-country, track and field culture, that this is a great way to get that,” said President Rebecca Burris.
Burris, who ran in high school, knew immediately that she wanted to continue running in college. “So I actually, like looked to see if there was a running club as soon as I was at George Mason’s orientation for my freshman year because I’ve been a runner since my eighth-grade year,” she said.
Running quickly became Burris’s “thing.” “I actually got into running, and I wouldn’t want anyone else to feel this way, but I felt like I didn’t like the way I looked, so I wanted to do something about it,” she said. “So I got into running basically just as a form of exercise.”
Burris brought her love for running with her into her presidency, and she was able to beat her own personal record by about 10 minutes in the 6K last semester.
The club is an opportunity for Mason students to run at the collegiate level. “We serve as … an avenue for people who ran in high school to compete at a collegiate level without having to be a part of the DI team,” said Burris. “So we do offer competition if those people would like to improve.”
In the collegiate level, the Running Club season is broken into two—sometimes three—parts, with the Fall semester being cross country and Spring being track and field. It is also divided between winter track and spring track, with various meets for each part taking place.
The club has a total of 39 members and a regular practice attendance of 15 members, a dramatic increase from last year when on average only five members showed up. They were able to run to new lengths this year when they attended both regionals and nationals, something they were unable to do last year.
“In terms of meets we actually did really awesome about going to them and having a turnout to them,” said Burris. “This year we went to nationals and regionals, whereas the previous year we didn’t get to go to regionals or nationals because our previous president forgot to sign us up.”
Mason’s Running Club attended a meet at Penn State on Feb. 10, one of the largest meets in the country for running clubs with almost 400 athletes present. The club will be attending the Capital Relays March 24 hosted by American University.