Cardiff LGBTQ+ running group is helping runners make new friends

Cardiff Foxes is almost nine months old and has played an impactful role in helping members of the LGBTQ community find an inclusive space for running in the city.

running group cardiff

Dave Sinclair, 52, recalls a memory from his school days when being involved in sports included a lot of toxic masculinity and homophobia. Just the memory of such incidences can make people quit sports altogether.

“For people who are more visibly gay or queer, it can be really challenging to be out running. They can be targeted for abuse. So, this started as a way to provide that safe space to everyone where you’re in a group and totally accepted,” said Dave, one of the founding members.

Even though Cardiff has a vibrant running community, one which is very inclusive & supportive of the LGBTQ+ community, there still remained a void in letting people truly be themselves amongst other LGBTQ+ runners. That’s when the idea of starting Cardiff Foxes came about.

LGBTQ running group in Cardiff

The group meets every Sunday morning in Bute Park, Cardiff, and start their 5K run from Pettigrew Tea Rooms. They run a simple route around the park and help each other complete the course.

“Every time a notification on our WhatsApp group reads ‘new member added’, there’s a big cheer!”

Speaking about their first meet on a rainy Sunday morning at Bute Park, Dave realised they’ve come a long way. “We spread the word on social media and thought we’ll just see who turns up. Seven people did, and since then, there’s been no looking back,” he said. At present, they have 32 members who encourage and support each other whether at the sessions or in their WhatsApp chat group.

As someone who’s been running for the past 12 years, and is a qualified run leader, Dave’s involvement in the club helped shape the club’s routine in those early days.

The group was conceptualised by Richard Lewis, encouraged by his friend Yan. Richard understood the potential of the idea and the need to create this space in the city. Club members are grateful to Rich for founding the club and bringing it to reality. Going ahead, the group plans to get started with trail running in the park, and eventually to places of natural beauty such as the Brecon Beacons.

Apart from running every Sunday morning, the club also believes in building impactful relationships. They meet up regularly for informal get togethers such as chilling at coffee shops or having a night on the town.

Anyone who wishes the join the Cardiff Foxes can drop them a message on their twitter handle and will be able to join the groups WhatsApp.

They welcomes any LGBTQ+ runner who can run about 5k (speed does not matter) and would be happy to offer advice to those who are looking to take up running so that they can join the group in the future.

Best warm-up exercises before running

If you are a first time runner in Cardiff, sprinting a distance of 5K when you start can be quite a challenge. Try taking baby steps in the beginning and slowly build up your pace.

A running warmup lets your muscles, bones, and joints loosen up; it gradually and gently raises your heart rate and makes it easier to get into the rhythm you want so you feel energized and exhilarated when you finish.