Joseph Coleman (left) and his friends promote their new Endurance Club at the source. (Courtesy | Kate Cavanaugh)

Sophomore Joseph Coleman is taking his passion for running and giving it a new purpose. This semester, he and some friends started a new club on campus: The Endurance Club. 

While the club meets several times a week for orga­nized group runs around campus, members and par­tic­i­pants are training for some­thing more than just staying in shape. They will be running several races with a focus on charity throughout the semester. The group even plans to host its own event later in October.  

The Endurance Club looks at running as a lifestyle, Coleman said. The emphasis is on the non-com­pet­itive, com­munity-ori­ented aspect of running. He said he hopes to get dif­ferent people from around campus involved. 

“It’s very low-key,” Coleman said. “It’s looking to do some­thing good with what we love.”

The Endurance Club is hosting a kick-off run and pancake breakfast at 10:45 a.m. on Sat­urday, Sept. 12 at the New Dorm patio. Everyone is welcome, no matter the level of expe­rience. 

The club will also be par­tic­i­pating in the second-annual Will’s Run 5k in Okemos, Michigan, on Oct. 4, at the Meridian Township Park.

Endurance Club board member junior Brynn Elson said the run is in honor of a young boy who dreamed of being a police officer, but died at age 10 of brain cancer. All the pro­ceeds from the run will go toward the Will Goodale Memorial Foun­dation, which pro­vides schol­ar­ships for stu­dents attending a police academy.

“It’s a good oppor­tunity to put into practice our phi­losophy of ‘run for a higher cause’,” Endurance Club board member junior Dylan Lee­brick said.

The Endurance Club is planning to organize its own Relay for Life charity event on Oct. 31. It will be a 5k fun run around Hillsdale to fundraise money for Hillsdale’s Helping Hands Preg­nancy Resource Center, for­merly known as Alpha Omega Care Center, Elson said. All runners are welcome at the event, even if they haven’t trained or just want to walk the 5k.

The club chose to donate to Helping Hands because the group was orig­i­nally designed as a pro-life orga­ni­zation. 

Elson said she and her friends attended the March for Life with Hillsdale College for Life in January. While trying to make her way through the crowd, she noticed that she was under a banner for an orga­ni­zation called “Life Runners.” 

She said she loved the group’s mission of spreading awareness through running and hoped to bring Life Runners to Hillsdale’s campus, but logis­tical issues pre­vented a new chapter from being opened in Hillsdale. Instead, the Endurance Club was created.

The goal of the club is to fill the gap between edu­cation and activism by being more involved in the com­munity, Elson said.

Coleman ran track and cross country in middle and high school. After a leg injury required a month in physical therapy, Coleman chose to do running as an activity, not a com­pe­tition.

“We’re not the track team. We’re running for the sake of it, to do it with people,” Coleman said.

Elson and Lee­brick also ran cross country and track in high school, but are looking forward to using the non-com­pet­itive nature of the goal to ded­icate runs to a higher cause.

“Running’s great and all,” Lee­brick said. “You get in good shape and you meet some awesome people, but what’s the point at the end of the day? You want to give it some meaning.”