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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

San Marcos Runners Club fosters companionship through fitness

Members+of+the+San+Marcos+Runners+Club+pose+for+a+photo+on+Thursday%2C+March+3%2C+2022%2C+in+front+of+AquaBrew%2C+their+current+meeting+place.+These+members+are+recipients+of+the+Moe+Johnson+Mileage+Award+Program.

Members of the San Marcos Runners Club pose for a photo on Thursday, March 3, 2022, in front of AquaBrew, their current meeting place. These members are recipients of the Moe Johnson Mileage Award Program.

With the weather beginning to warm up, students and locals alike will start gravitating to life outside where they may pick up hobbies that seek to strengthen their physical and mental health like running.
While running is a simple enough exercise, the endorphins it provides keep people chasing that runner’s high. For some runners, it’s nice to have a partner who can come along to share the journey. Some runners like to talk to each other, some feel safer with a partner beside them and some just like the accountability having a running buddy brings.
Brigitte Payne is someone who could relate to those sentiments, which is why she joined the San Marcos Running Club 16 years ago. Now, she holds the title as the organization’s president.
As president, Payne has been tasked with getting the group up and running again after the pandemic forced it into a bit of a hiatus. The group met back up for the first time on Feb. 10 and has since maintained a consistent meeting schedule.
“We haven’t really been able to meet much these past few years with COVID and everything,“ Payne said. “This is our third run of the year so we’re just trying to get a feel for things right now, but there’s been good turnout.”
Payne is a New Orleans native and moved to San Marcos in 2006 following the wake of Hurricane Katrina. She’s been a runner all her life and wanted to find a community of people that shared her interest here in San Marcos. Luckily for her, she found out about the club and has been a member ever since.
Another longtime member of the club is Mark Brendalen. He joined the club around 2008 in an effort to meet new people. He’s happy to report 14 years later that he’s done just that.
“I really enjoy the social aspect, just getting to be a part of a group,” Brendalen said. “I actually even met my wife here, which is amazing.”
The San Marcos Runner’s Club community is something many of the members expressed their appreciation for. Running is an activity that can be done alone, but it’s clear that people have a want for companionship when they go out on runs together.
The group is open to anyone interested in joining and is welcoming of all experience levels. While running is in the name, walking is perfectly acceptable too as the group understands everyone must start somewhere.
To join, those interested must submit an application online. Those in the organization also have access to a few perks.
The club is currently partnered with AquaBrew, which has hosted the group’s meetings this year. After every meeting, members are entitled to one free beverage from AquaBrew as a reward.
Members are also eligible to join the Moe Johnson Mileage Award Program, named in honor of the club’s founder, Moe Johnson. The award program incentivizes members to run as much as they can and keep track of their miles. Once they reach 250 miles, they’re awarded a plaque specially designed by Payne herself.
Getting new members is something Payne is eyeing for the future. Currently, the group has 15-20 members show up at each meet. She said it’s been hard to keep the group together through the pandemic, but she’s hopeful that life can return to normal so the runner’s club can too.
“I’d like to expand the group more once we get things going again,” Payne said. “Once we get a rhythm going we’d like to get more people to come out … there’s been a few professors at Texas State who’ve been a part of the club. It’d be nice to get some students out here as well.”
One potential new member is Carmen Rios. She just recently moved into the San Marcos area from Pflugerville and has been having trouble finding someone to come out and run with her. 
“I just recently moved into the area, and I was looking for people to run with,” Rios said. “I had a running buddy before the move and sometimes my kids or my husband would come run with me, but not all the time, so it was really nice to find a group like this.”
The San Marcos Runner’s Club meets at 5:30 p.m. every Thursday in front of AquaBrew. Members run a three-mile route together that loops back to AquaBrew where everyone is encouraged to socialize after the run.
For more information on the San Marcos Runner’s Club visit http://sanmarcosrunners.org/ or the group’s Facebook page.

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