Ravenous Runners get ready to take flight in community

Ravenous Runners get ready to take flight in community

Cumberland’s Kim Chula-Maguire, shown standing near the Ravenous Brewing Company’s logo on the wall inside the brewery, will host an informational meeting for the Ravenous Runners running club next Thursday at 5 p.m. (Breeze photo by Eric Benevides)
Chula-Maguire hosts informational meeting for new running club next Thursday night at Ravenous Brewery

CUMBERLAND – It was two years ago when Kim Chula-Maguire paid a visit to a running store in Colorado called Shoes & Brews that offered a lot more than the latest Asics, Brooks, and New Balance shoes and apparel.

“In the front of it was a running store like Rhode Runner in Providence, but in the back of it was a bar that had trivia nights, live music, and a running club that came out of there,” the Cumberland resident recalled. “I was like, ‘We need to have this in Rhode Island. I love it! It’s such a great idea.’”

That idea sat in the back of her mind, even while she served as a coach for the Cumberland-based N.E. Distance Community Running Club that began in the spring of 2017. But when the New England Distance professional team started to dissolve last year, Chula-Maguire’s idea began to pick up steam during a random visit to Ravenous Brewing Company.

“I’ve been here so many times,” she noted. “I was like, ‘Wait a minute: I can have my own running club at a place that has beer. I have to do this.’”

Next Thursday at 5 p.m., Chula-Maguire’s idea will become reality when she hosts an informational meeting for the fledgling Ravenous Runners running club, and anyone – from those who have little or no experience in the sport to runners who compete in 35-40 road races a year – are welcomed to attend.

“This club is for absolutely anybody,” Chula-Maguire said. “I keep talking to people about it and talking about it as a running/social club. For starters, it’s meeting once a week, doing whatever your run is, and then coming here afterwards to just hang out.”

Chula-Maguire, who competed in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials in the Masters’ exhibition 1,500-meter race and has her own physical therapy practice, Evolve Physical Therapy, talked about the club last Thursday afternoon in the patio behind the Industrial Road brewery that bears the club’s name.

“And it’s a great name,” she said with a smile. “Ravenous about running, ravenous about life, ravenous about beer – it’s just perfect.”

While she has the name and the location for the club’s meetings and social hangouts, she’s now looking for the runners that will make up the group and the direction that the club will follow as it heads into 2021.

“I really just want to get it off the ground and kind of see where it goes from there,” she said. “I know it’s like an awkward time of the year to start this, because we’re coming up upon winter and obviously COVID, so the first part of it is just getting people aware of it and have a consistent time and place to show up for a run.”

“I think the future look and feel of the group will be dependent on those who are in it and what they want out of it,” she continued. “I can see it going either way. I can see it staying totally social, and I can see it being, ‘Let’s coach you. Here are some workouts. Let’s have specific plans.’ To me, either way would be fine.”

Chula-Maguire, who is also a member of the Ronald McDonald House of Providence Running Club, knows there are people in the community who’d like to be part of something like her new endeavor, but either don’t know where to start in the sport or have reservations about joining a club.

“I don’t know how many times I’ve talked to people who have said, ‘Oh, you run? That’s awesome. I wish I could do that,’” she added. “And I’m like, ‘You can. Just do it,’ and they don’t because they’re intimidated. But running is really one of the only sports where anybody can participate in some way, as long as they have a welcoming group to do that with.”

As for where the club will run, Chula-Maguire would love to have everyone start and end their runs at the brewery and find a safe way for them to run through the neighborhoods near the facility, and with pace groups, so the newbies to the sport have someone to run with.

If running near the brewery isn’t a good option, then everyone can possibly run at the Monastery and drive back to the brewery.

“As we move into the spring and summer, if people are interested, and COVID permitting, I might expand the options for runs, such as offering low-key track workouts,” Chula-Maguire added.

Down the line, Chula-Maguire would also like to see the club’s members decked out in their own apparel, such as singlets for races and jackets, hats, and sweatshirts to wear in public. But before she plans to think about the club’s colors or look ahead to the future, she wants to put all her focus on the club’s first meeting.

Anyone who would like to attend the meeting should sign up at www.signupgenius.com/go/10c094daba72ea7ff2-theravenous to make an RSVP, and those who can’t make the meeting, but would like more information about the club, should visit https://view.flodesk.com/pages/5f9067d44f8c6d04af0440e7 and safely give their email address.