We Run Belfast (WRB) is a collective connected by a passion for exploration and the sights and sounds of our city. The crew was started in 2018 by people who love to run. Having experienced Run Dem Crew in London, the crew was founded in Belfast and continues to hold weekly runs and meetups over coffee, doughnuts and Strava tags.
We don’t believe in running to beat people. We believe that this is a community; where we laugh, we fall, we chat, we warm up, we cool down, we set off, we get back. Basically, we run. Some of us run marathons, some of us can hardly run the length of ourselves – and that’s the point. We are a welcoming running crew – all paces, ages, abilities and people are welcome. If you want to set a PB and wear one of those skimpy running vests, join your nearest harriers club.
Many people overlook the importance of community. Having people to stand beside and show an interest in your life may seem like a pretty insignificant thing, but statistics show that the community is one of the most important things for your mental health.
This is especially important for Northern Ireland, where we’re facing a suicide epidemic and exist in what is considered a PTSD state after the Troubles. NI has the highest rate of PTSD in a study of 30 countries including South Africa and Lebanon. Our need for mental health funding is 25% greater than England, but our funding is 20% less. More people have now died to suicide than died in the Troubles, with worrying figures showing no signs of slowing down. Running is not going to fix this problem, but it can go a long way to helping people clear their heads, and possibly move towards a more positive mental health state.
At WRB, we believe that the run is not the important thing we do. The community is what we are passionate about – the run is just what we do for a part of our nights. We want to offer an open community to everyone, where you won’t be judged or left out. Why not join us for a run one week. Sometimes we even have free doughnuts.