6 years of Sanctuary Runners – Niall’s Story

I first heard about Sanctuary Runners in a newspaper article and then on social media. I joined the group five years ago, at the beginning of 2019. It’s a wonderful way to meet interesting, friendly people from all over the world. At a local level here in Limerick, it helps to promote community integration while also enjoying the benefits of regular exercise and enthusiastic running partners. My favourite thing about Sanctuary Runners is the fun and the friendship.

It’s amazing how something as simple as running together can be such a positive action for individual well-being are a great starting point for friendships and fostering community integration. I’ve met people from all over the world since I’ve become a Sanctuary runner.  Another big impact on my life has been the regular exercise. It’s hugely motivating to have regular training runs and events to attend as group. It’s also humbling and inspiring to meet people, who despite the challenges that have shaped their lives continue to have such love, passion and ambitions in life.

As for our Limerick mascot, Alf joined Sanctuary Runners mostly because of the biscuits. As a young pup (after chess club didn’t work out), he was happy to meet a group of people that welcomes and encourages everyone. He was also happy to find a organisation that excludes cats (Edit: Alf! wrote that bit.. we do not exclude cats, they just don’t seem to like running with people as much as Alf! does). Everyone is welcome. He especially enjoys that Sanctuary Runners respond to the words ‘walk’ or ‘run’ with the same excited enthusiasm that he does. His other hobbies include sniffing stuff. He’s always ready to welcome new people who join our Limerick group.

Like everyone else at Sanctuary Runners Alf! loves running, but mostly, it’s about being with friendly humans that treat each other with Solidarity, Friendship, Respect (and biscuits!).”

For anyone thinking about joining us, I’d say that one of the nicest things about Sanctuary Runners is the shared respect,  friendship and sense of community. Over time that naturally extends beyond the group to the broader community. Everyone who joins adds something new… so they would be a great addition to the group. Everyone is welcome.