Running groups end sport’s loneliness

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RUNNING groups have been instrumental in the growth of the sport in Spain.

In the last decade, the number of running fans has been increasing due to the sport’s simplicity and the low cost involved in taking it up, with just some trainers, comfortable shoes and willpower needed to begin.

With its origins going back to the 1970s in the USA, where it was largely seen as a sport exclusively for men, now it is open and enjoyed by everyone and is ever more popular in Spain.

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It is estimated that around 10 per cent of the population are regular runners and the Madrid and Barcelona marathons are amongst the largest in the world.

The latest ‘alternative’ runners’ groups are known as ‘Beer Runners’, ending their running sessions with a beer at a bar. Its origin is found across the pond in Philadelphia, where the first group was created in 2007 following a study led by Dr Manuel J Castillo at the University of Granada, concluding that beer can help the recovery of water after exercise.

The practice has spread over the last two years to more than 40 cities with upwards of 15,000 participants, meaning that what was once a lonely sport, is now a very social activity.


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