Updated: 2015-07-25 04:57

(China Daily USA)

  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0


Running never stops: members of KiteRunners during a group run. PHOTOS PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY

As jogging becomes fashionable in the city with more young people taking to the healthy lifestyle, running clubs are being formed spontaneously for runners to cheer each other on and experience the high that this passion brings.

There are around 10 high-profile running clubs in Shanghai and many more low-key ones. They organize group runs and practices at the same place and time along arranged routes, on different days of a week.

“Running is easy when you have buddies. More importantly, we enjoy the feeling of conquering the trails together and the passers-by paying salutes with their eyes,” said Shao Yanna, leader of running club CrazyBichi.

She said although they’ll check out the performance of other running clubs in big competitions, such as the annual Shanghai International Marathon, to see whether they outperform others, having fun is their priority.

“The members gather together out of love for running so each time we meet we feel like it’s a party. There are buddies offering help and cheers and others bringing water and bananas before practice,” said Shao, 26, who works for an advertising agency. KiteRunners is a club that is very active on Weibo and WeChat and the club welcomes participants at all levels.

“Our team stretches out really far when we run because of the difference in the running speed of the participants. What really matters is the excitement they gain from the sport rather than the speed,” said Shi Xinnan, a dedicated member of the running club established in 2014, which now has nearly 100 members.

“I can feel the inner peace and a runner’s high after a long run. Having been running for some time, I found I could be touched by the things and people that I’d been numb to for a long time. We hope more people can enjoy this pleasure,” said 29-year-old Shi, who drives 60 kilometers every weekend to join a group run.

Shi said the running club has members designated to upload photos with the club logo and stories of each group run or party, inform members of the upcoming events, and publish information to recruit new members.

The two team leaders and core members of KiteRunners hold regular meetings to discuss their goals and plans, the management method when the club gets bigger and arrangement of upcoming runs and competitions.

Shao Yanna said they also have a very clear division of work in their club, with different members in charge of maintaining social networking accounts, promotion, and finance.


Running has become a trendy lifestyle as well as a way of social in Shanghai.

Running never stops

In addition to having fun together, some clubs have high expectations of its members, such as NuclearKitty, the country’s first women’s running club. The club with 14 core members organizes group runs ranging from 5 to 20 km twice a week and holds regular practice, including special exercises for core muscles and slow long-distance training.

Most of them participate in competitions all over the country and some get outstanding results.

“We want to prove that we’re competitive, rather than just a group of pretty faces,” said the 28-year-old group leader who is known as Zouzou.

“When we become wives and mothers in the future, we will form a NuclearKitty junior group and there’ll be a NuclearKitty granny group when we grow old. Running never stops,” she said.


Running has become a trendy lifestyle as well as a way of social in Shanghai.

Some running groups, including the three mentioned, sometimes will gather for group run known as “a convention of the representatives of running groups in Shanghai”.

“All the amateur runners bring their medals and plaques from various competitions and it is about sharing and celebrating runners’ honors. At that moment we felt we all belonged to one group called Shanghai,” Shi said.

Li Li, who works for the organizing committee of the Shanghai International Marathon, said she has always been touched by runners who dedicate their blood, sweat and tears to sports.

“Once I saw a grey-haired participant who was in his 80s crossing the finish line with two doctors by his side. That’s exactly what a marathon means: perseverance, willpower, breaking through and proving yourself,” she said.

Contact the writer at