Running through college


Zachary Araki/The Lion’s Roar

Andrew Belgard, a senior chemistry major, goes for an afternoon run in Friendship Circle. Exercise like running can boost mood due to an increase in endorphin levels along with the muscle workout.

Students on campus run to improve their physical health and social relationships.

An enjoyment for the exercise and a desire for a close-knit community prompted Reagan Lee, a sophomore biological sciences major, to establish the Southeastern Running Club.

“I wanted it to be something that was very open and inviting,” explained Lee. “I really didn’t care if your pace was 15 minutes long or six minutes. I really wanted it to be very friendly and a close-knit team.”

Lee designed the Running Club as an alternative for busy students like herself. She aims to give students a chance to enjoy the community feel of running in a group without the added stress of being a cross-country athlete.

“I didn’t want to run in college because it’s so demanding, and it takes so much out of you, and they’re barely ever in class and stuff,” stated Lee. “So, I wanted to start something that was closer just like my team in high school was, where everyone’s just very supportive.”

Lee shared that her greatest challenge has been spreading the word about the group.




“It’s been hard to get people into the club,” shared Lee. “More because I guess me and my sponsor don’t really know exactly how to reach out to people and how to tell them, ‘Hey,’ and also the big stereotype is no one likes running and all this stuff. It’s like, ‘My sport’s another sport’s punishment’ and that stuff like that. So, I know that there’s people on campus that would like to run, and I want to reach them, but I’m really not sure how.”

According to Lee, the club does not require much commitment. 

“There’s no requirements,” stated Lee. “I feel like people think that, ‘Oh, if I have asthma, I can’t join,’ or this. No, you can absolutely. There’s actually three runners that run for Southeastern’s track and cross country team that have asthma. So, it’s something that they can absolutely do.”

In the article “8 key ways running can transform your body and brain,” Kelvin Loria noted a strong correlation between running and benefits for the body and the brain.

“Many experts consider exercise to be the closest thing to a miracle drug,” explained Loria. “As a form of cardio that’s easily accessible, running is one of the most straightforward ways to get the important benefits of exercise.”

In addition to psychological benefits, running has a number of other perks.

“Since it improves aerobic fitness, running is a great way to help improve cardiovascular health,” said Loria. “Plus, it burns calories and can build strength.”

Lee explained the chemical process that happens when a person runs.

“Any sort of exercise that you do is gonna create endorphins, which is a chemical in your body, and it tends to be a mood booster,” shared Lee. “So, it’s gonna make you feel a lot better, but also running works more muscles than just your legs. It’s arms, core—I’ll go for a hard run, and my inner costals will be sore the next day. It feels good because it works everything.”

For those interested in joining the Running Club, email Lee at [email protected]