The Liberties is up and running – in a new local club 

Sun, rain, or stone, with the Liberties near home, there’s no need to run alone!

The Liberties Running Club is the brainchild of three runners local to The Liberties, Dave Shanahan, Jenny Jones, and Lisa Kelleher.  

The Liberties Running Club Logo. Credit: Dave Shanahan – the_libertiesrunningclub

The club was established just a few weeks ago by the three runners with the aim of providing the area with a free-of-charge running club that would encourage people to get active while providing a social outlet too.  

Shanahan, Jones and Kelleher all spoke to The Liberty about the Liberties Running Club. 

“The idea was to get people in The Liberties up, out of their chairs running,” Shanahan said.

“How it started was myself, Jenny and Lisa all ran the Dublin Marathon and we did a lot of training together. People that replied to posts that we had put up on our own personal social media pages said they would love to be able to do something like that and that they would love to come along,” Shanahan explained. 

The trio decided to create a Liberties Running Club Instagram page after seeing that there was an appetite among the community.  

“The first time that we did it was a Monday, and we had 15 people turn up. Then we went again that Wednesday and we had 17 turning out – so the interest is there and I can only imagine that if we’re getting these numbers now that more and more will start to come as the weather gets warmer and the days get longer,” Shanahan said.  

Shanahan’s day-job is working with Dublin City Council, while Lisa Kelleher is a co-founder of the charity organisation ‘Shannon’s Hopeline’, and Jenny Jones is training to be an accountant technician.  

Kelleher says her experience in organising events for Shannon’s Helpline has helped her when starting up the running club. 

“I have done a lot of running events, and I would have been involved with organising the Women’s Mini-Marathon and being involved with other running groups to get women training for the event, but it was a bit difficult doing it on my own,” Kelleher said. 

Each of the three founders, Shanahan, Jones and Kelleher,take a group of different fitness levels each, so that more experienced runners can go quicker as well as people who may just be starting out have others to push them on but at their pace.  

“Having the three of us here for the club lets us take each level, so one of us can take beginners at their pace, and another can take a group of more advanced runners that want to go a bit faster, so it is really great in that sense that it is for everyone,” Kelleher says.

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The Liberties Running Club Members Credit: Dave Shanahan – the_libertiesrunningclub

The club meets three times each week at the Coombe on the bottom of Meath Street, on Monday and Wednesday at 6pm, then at 9am on Saturday mornings. 

“On Saturday, we did a 5 kilometre for anyone who wanted to come and test themselves, and we had plenty of people who had never ran a 5k in their life and were over the moon,” Shanahan said. 

The club is proving to be a big success, with over 40 active runners within the club, and have recently gotten hats and T-shirts for members and are organising a 5-kilometre race.  

“This is the start of something that The Liberties needs. We are creating our own community, and our goal is to help people that have never ran, or people who ran in the past to get back running,” Jones explained.  

When asked what advice she would have for people around The Liberties who want to join, but might be reluctant, Jones said: “Don’t be afraid, everyone has to start somewhere, so get the trainers on, get out, and build new relationships and achieve your goals.”

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