SocialMile: Running Together in Arnhem
If you are a runner and a traveler, keeping active whilst away from home is definitely a priority. Whether you are just visiting Arnhem or have settled in or around the area for work or love, it can take a bit of effort to figure out where to go for a run. Arnhem is full of green spaces to head out for a nice walk, an evening jog or even a hefty training run. Be aware – unlike the West of the country, Arnhem has HILLS which many people don’t expect but can leave a runner secretly satisfied after conquering them.
As easy as it is just put your running kit on and head out into one of Arnhem’s glorious green spaces, sometimes you need a little help from others. For example, some people are fine on their own for an easy jog but need a bit more push and motivation from others to run intervals, hills or do some speed work.
Joining a running group or club, or participating in one of the several monthly events also helps the expat not only meet like-minded people but also generally provides a safe place to practice their language skills. Arnhemmers are quite friendly people and are generally interested in meeting others from outside of the Netherlands. While there are many to choose from, we will start with a group that is not only free and easy to join, but a group with which this blogger has the most experience.
Photo by Renee Tijdink.
Every Wednesday evening, rain or shine, SocialMilers meet up at 8pm at Café Helder on the Rosendaalsestraat in Klarendal. You can easily walk to Café Helder from Velperpoort train station or come by Bus Number 29 (from Arnhem Central Station, bus stop Hoflaan). At 8:05pm exactly, the run begins. To join in, simply show up on time and be ready to run! Running with SocialMile is free; however there is always a possibility to become a member. Membership includes discounts at cafes and shops around town, race discounts in some cases and athletic association membership (based on yearly membership) Complete information (in Dutch at the moment) can be found on the website; for your convenience here are some basic “rules” of the Wednesday run:
-You should be able to run at least 5 kilometers
-You should be able to run in a tempo of around 9 – 11 KPH
-Safety gear (reflection vest, safety lights) is absolutely required in the fall and winter months (sunset before 8:05pm)
-No pets, please. Nothing against furry creatures, but not all members are comfortable with dogs, for example.
-Pay attention to the group, stay together and follow traffic situations and instructions
SocialMile can be found on various social media as well where you can find information about the weekly runs plus any other events that may be organized outside of the normal Wednesday evening run.
Photo by SocialMile.
Meet people, run, have some fun!
The idea of SocialMile is to meet people, run, have some fun and have a drink together afterwards. No run is ever really the same; sometimes the group runs all through the city center, over bridges and dykes and sometimes it’s all about hills. There is no need to sign up for the run, simply head over to Café Helder around 8pm on a Wednesday and get ready to run. You can’t miss the group either – many members will be wearing their SocialMile shirt with pride.
For me personally, SocialMile has been exactly what I needed – I spent several years running alone, wishing I had a runner partner or a group just to have some fun. In January of 2014 I nervously went to my first run with the group and I have never looked back! I have met friends whom I never would have come across before and have had tons of support and encouragement along the way. With SocialMile I even took further steps and went on to run my first marathon, in fact several of us went together last year to run Paris Marathon!
Making friends is challenging when you are an expat, so if running is your passion, joining a local running group may just be the solution you are looking for! If you are here in Arnhem for work or leisure on a shorter-term basis and just want to meet a group of friendly running locals, you are more than welcome to drop in.
For more info, contact Renee A Shortz, writer of this blog, via her website Renee@lowfatpie.com
Photo by SocialMile.
For me personally, SocialMile has been exactly what I needed – I spent several years running alone, wishing I had a runner partner or a group just to have some fun.