LGBTQ+ running club is a runaway success for inclusive activities in the capital

The Cardiff Foxes combine their love for running with a passion for providing a safe space for LGBTQ+ individuals to keep active

LGBTQ+ Running club the Cardiff Foxes
Members of the Cardiff Foxes smile for the camera prior to setting off on a Sunday morning run. Photo Credit: Richard Lewis.

LGBTQ+ running club the Cardiff Foxes have got off to a flying start and hope to encourage more of Cardiff’s LGBTQ+ community to join them, according to their founder.

Richard Lewis, 29, set up the club in August 2021 to provide a safe space for LGBTQ+ individuals in Cardiff who enjoy running to meet other avid runners from the community.

Rich credits the Cardiff Foxes’ Twitter for their recent rise in popularity.

“Running [alone] can be incredibly daunting for queer people,” Rich said, explaining how a rise in homophobic and transphobic hate crimes recorded by police in the UK has especially increased people’s concerns recently.

Groups like the Cardiff Foxes aim to provide the support and strength in numbers required to keep everyone able to enjoy the sport.

Rich was encouraged to set up the group by his friend Yan White, founder of the Queer Emporium, another LGBTQ+ inclusive space set up in Cardiff in the second half of 2021.

The Cardiff Foxes now have around 18 regular runners, although the number of people at each meeting fluctuates owing to people’s varying availability.

Currently the Foxes only run once a week on Sunday mornings, although the growing popularity of the club has led Rich and other members to make plans to hold another run during the week in order to be able to include more people.

“But we don’t want to make things too regimented,” Rich explained, stressing how important it is to the group that their runs remain open to all, and not just their most dedicated members.

However, for those interested in taking things further, the Foxes aim to get involved with more long distance running events such as 10km races and the Cardiff Half Marathon in the future. 

The club also hopes to arrange charity fundraising runs to raise money for LGBTQ+ charities in the lead up to events such as World Aids Day.

The Cardiff Foxes’ running route

LGBTQ+ running club the Cardiff Foxes' running route
The Cardiff Foxes run 5km around Bute Park and its surrounding area. Image Credit: Richard Lewis

Beginning at the west gate of Bute Park next to Pettigrew Tearooms, the Foxes start their 5km run by heading north along the dock feeder canal.

After reaching the vehicle access bridge opposite Corbett Road, the Foxes head up into the Blackweir Fields until they reach Blackweir Bridge.

They then cross the bridge over the Taff and begin to loop back on themselves by taking the long way down through Pontcanna fields.

The Foxes’ 5km reaches its end after they cross back over the Taff near the Sophia Gardens Cricket Ground and make their way back through Bute Park to the tearooms for a well earned coffee.