Get to Know Your Running Clubs - Winnipeg Frontrunners
In this edition of Get To Know Your Running Clubs we spoke with Wally Mah, your friendly neighbourhood LGBTTQ* running leader! You'll most often find the Winnipeg Frontrunners gathering at The Forks and hitting trails that take them through the Exchange District, French quarter St. Boniface, organic loving Wolseley, historic North End, and cozy South Osborne.
Want to learn more about them? Read on!
Hi Wally! Tell us a bit about your club history, how long has the club been around?
We started from humble beginnings in the summer of July 2011 with two to three members. I started the group, which was originally named "Out There Run", to provide a healthy and social environment for LGBTTQ* people to meet. We met in different parts of the city every week to explore the many picturesque trails. Several years later, we joined International Frontrunners and rebranded ourselves as "Winnipeg Frontrunners".
Tell us a bit about your members! What level of runners do you cater to?
I love our members! We have a great diverse group of runners from novices to veterans. We have a growing mix of different genders. Some of our members come from different sport backgrounds like triathlon, hockey, and badminton.
Where/when does your club usually meet/run?
We have a "learn to run" clinic on Wednesdays at 6:30 pm and our regular Saturday runs at 9:00 am. We meet at The Forks by the elevator next to the ice-cream shop Neon Cone. We take a break during the winter months, but then go hard for the rest of the year!
Are your group runs mostly casual or more structured workouts?
Mostly casual runs.
Any cost to join/be a member?
Is your group affiliated with any events?
Since 2015, we organize the annual Pride Run during Pride Week which happens in May or June. It's a great fun run with options of 5K or 10K, and is a fundraiser for a local LGBTTQ* organization.
Any cool routes/ favourite areas to run in your city that you would like to recommend to other runners? Why do you like those?
There are the ever popular routes along Wellington Crescent and in Assiniboine Park. However, my favourite routes are the lesser known ones. I love running from Stephen Juba Park in the East Exchange District up to the historic North End along the Red River. There is a beautiful mix of old and new houses that I wished I lived in or at least could snoop in ;). I cross over to the west side of Main Street and admire the old neighbourhood meat, bakery, and corner stores, and churches. It takes you back to what life was like in the early 1900's.
My most favourite route, which became the Pride Run route, is running across the stunning Provencher Bridge into Whittier Park in St. Boniface. There is a canopy of trees that is so scenic that always brings a smile to my face. The return route comes back onto Provencher Bridge with a breathtaking view of the Museum of Human Rights and tall skyscrapers of Downtown Winnipeg. I love my Winnipeg!
Do you have any favourite local races? Outside of anything that you're affiliated with of course :)
The Manitoba Marathon will always hold dear to my heart. It was where I completed my first half marathon. It's a joy to have so many people running alongside you and crowds cheering you on. It's the only race I have been in where a homeowner passes out beer to runners...Love it!
I also have to give a shout out to our sister Point Douglas Community 5/10K Run that happens in September!
Anything else that we should know?
We welcome any new runners anytime! It's a great way to connect with the local LGBTTQ* community.
Want to learn more?
Want to connect with the Winnipeg Frontrunners, or just learn a bit more about them? Check out their information below:
Looking for runs around Winnipeg?
You can find a full list of runs and races happening around Winnipeg at www.runguides.com/winnipeg/runs