Online running community are set to take on Cardiff’s half-marathon route

The Running Punks are a community of runners inspired by music and personal development over goals and winning

The combination of running and music has been a welcome distraction through this tough year of a pandemic and consequent lockdowns. Credit: Paul Grace.

On Sunday the 20 December will bring together the Running Punks to head bang their way through a half marathon in Cardiff. The runners who avoid limits and training plans will join together for a final dose of running community and music before Christmas.

The unique running group came together when Welsh 800m record breaker, Jimmy Watkins, bumped into an old bandmate on a run last year. The old friends decided to create an honest and supportive community for all abilities.

You don’t start running if your life is perfect

Jimmy had left competitive running to get back into being in a band. He inevitably fell out of shape. While old friend, Rhodri, was just entering the running scene but struggling to find a welcoming club.

After that, Jimmy explains they built a running group that isn’t about working towards a time or distance but about forming an egoless community.

Where to find the Running Punks:

Mindful running

Results from a study carried out by Asics during the pandemic reveals that 82% of runners say running helped clear their mind. In addition, 78% feel more in control and calm after a run.

The Welsh athlete acknowledges that fitness is more often than not triggered by mental health.

“You don’t start running if your life is perfect but running definitely pushes you in the right direction and then you just keep on going,” notes Jimmy.

Running Punks is a community who support everyone in their running journey. The discussion of music to helps people get out the door.  Credit: Paul Grace.
Musical and physical journey

The first lockdown in Wales made Jimmy recognise his own anxieties. Coming close to packing his daily runs in he discovered the joy of listening to new music as he runs.

Filming himself running and shouting as he reviews an unfamiliar album became a distraction for himself and entertains and inspires a larger online community.

The musical element helps motivate people of all ages, sizes and abilities to get their trainers on and work on themselves in an enjoyable setting.

Every weekend the Running Punks meet at a new location. This Sunday will see the Punks meet in person to enjoy their longest run yet.

Jimmy videos himself shouting his reviews of music as he runs away his day.