Have you ever seen a pack of 5C students running through Scripps College’s rose garden or playing spikeball outside Malott Dining Hall? Those sweaty college kids might just be part of the Claremont Running Club, which meets weekly to work out and hang out. To learn more, TSL sat down with Camille Cherney PO ’25, who is enjoying her second year as a club member.
This conversation has been slightly condensed and lightly edited for clarity.
TSL: Tell us a little bit about the Claremont Running Club. What do you guys do?
Camille Cherney PO ’25: The Claremont Running Club is a place for people of all skill levels to come together, run together and meet other runners.
TSL: Where do you all run?
CC: We tend to run all around Claremont. We usually do a loop around the colleges and we’re usually split up into two groups. One group does a bit of a quicker pace and a longer run of about four to five miles. And the other group does about a two to three mile round.
TSL: How much experience is required to join?
CC: People of all skill levels are encouraged to join the club. I would still consider myself a beginner. I only really started running this past May on a consistent basis, so I’m still working toward achieving a 5K. Most people involved do have a lot more running experience, but there are definitely other beginners and people all in between, and they really make you feel welcome no matter what.
I do recommend that if someone wants to join the running club that they first start running on their own for a little while — for maybe two to three weeks at least, just to get their fitness up a little bit, so they can keep up on the runs. The slower group still tends to do about a 10-minute pace or 11-minute at the most, although they will wait for you if you go a little bit slower, and you can always stop and walk or not do the full route.
TSL: When does the Running Club meet?
CC: We meet every Friday at 6 p.m. and run for about 30 to 40 minutes, and then we all get dinner together, which is a great opportunity to build community.
I think there’s usually one or two meetings in the morning at 7 a.m., which I’m never really awake for, but some people enjoy that.
TSL: How do you think running can work to create a community?
CC: Running is a really great way to build community because it’s shared fun, but it’s also a shared struggle. Any time you’re doing something super challenging in the presence of others, I think you’re able to bond with people on a deeper level.
Usually, I go pretty slow. I’m running at a conversational pace, so I can have a lot of fun conversations with people I never would have met from all across the 5Cs.
TSL: What do you think is the best part about running?
CC: Seeing myself make progress. I started off in May of this year barely being able to run a mile, and now I can run up to three miles fairly easily, although I’m still kind of slow.
I love just seeing how far I’ve come. I don’t focus on comparing myself to other people who’ve been running for years because that would be a quick way for me to want to quit. I just love seeing myself make slow, incremental progress and seeing my fitness improve.
Running is also the best stress relief ever. If I’m ever super upset about something, I can just get out there and run and forget about all my problems for a little while.
TSL: What other events does the club put on?
CC: This year, they’re doing adventure runs about every other week — trips to different parts of Southern California to do runs in beautiful locations. I think there is one in Palm Springs in the mountains, and there’s going to be some on the beach. It seems really exciting.
I believe they’re also planning a camping trip in Malibu for fall break, with camping by the beach and running a bit during the day. There’s definitely a lot of social opportunities besides just running. Also, we do have dinners at least once a week, where you can just talk to other people.