As enthusiasts of extraordinary local feats and comradery, our attention has been recently drawn to a new and exciting running group known as the Rookie Runners. Their infectious energy and unmissable presence at our events around Copenhagen left a lasting impression on us.
Naturally, we couldn't resist the chance of joining them on a spirited run, eager to immerse ourselves in the culture of the Rookie Runners and uncover what sets this running community apart.
Simone's vision for the Rookie Runners project faced an unexpected hurdle when the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly brought Denmark and the rest of the world to a halt in the beginning of 2020. Nevertheless, despite the solitary road ahead, she tapped into her background as a cheerleader to ignite a spark of inspiration within others through the online community @rookie.runners on Instagram. In the face of adversity, the group’s resolve ensured that the flame of the running spirit continued to burn, even during those solitary strides taken during isolation.
Today, the narrative has undergone a transformation. With a thriving running community including more than 50 dedicated individuals and two weekly running sessions that consistently draw new excited participants, Rookie Runners has firmly entrenched itself as a prominent fixture in the bustling Copenhagen running scene. Encounter them during their runs, and you will be greeted by an ambiance filled with vitality and an electrifying atmosphere flowing with infectious energy and good vibes. In this atmosphere, a profound sense of comradery and support fills the air, uplifting and inspiring all who partake in this extraordinary experience.
BUILDING A SUPPORTIVE RUNNING COMMUNITY
When speaking with various members, it becomes clear that novice runners often find themselves burdened with the weight of societal expectations, constantly feeling the need to present themselves as "perfect” athletes, particularly when stepping out of their comfort zones. However, Rookies’ ambition lies in creating a running community that places authenticity at its core. It envisions a sanctuary where individuals can wholeheartedly engage and belong, irrespective of their circumstances and the daily trials they face, big or small. The Rookie Runners community aspires to inspire new runners to show up, embracing their unique selves, knowing that they are embraced for who they truly are. Rookie Runners goes past the mere pursuit of speed or covering greater distances; it is about seizing the opportunity to take part, whether one is exhausted after a long day at work, burdened by self-doubt, or brimming with uncontainable energy.
Many members of this flourishing community recount stories of past running endeavours that were derailed by various obstacles, or long-held desires to embark on a running journey that were overshadowed by the demands of daily life. For many, the absence of a supportive running community that embraced individuals regardless of their skill level proved to be a significant barrier, particularly during the dark winter months and rainy days. These runners emphasise the pivotal role played by the Rookie Runners community in creating connections and enabling them to form new friendships and expanding their social circles beyond what they had ever imagined.
THE HEART OF ROOKIE RUNNERS
Throughout the last year, we have had the opportunity to meet several of the Rookie Runners at our SAYSKY events, always bringing their high spirits and easy-going attitude, even when pushed to the limit during our races. We joined them for a run to witness their unique vibe first hand and meet their colourful and ever-smiling running community. We met the group and their founder, Simone, who made sure the music was constantly playing energetic beats and that everyone greeted each other with knuckles and a smile.
RUNNING, CONNECTION, AND COMMUNITY
Their runs usually start with a warm-up session at ‘Den Sorte Plads’, in Nørrebro. Then the group heads off through the Copenhagen neighbourhood for a 4-6 km training run, which includes several stops along the way to ensure that everyone can join and only push themselves to their own limits. As motivational music resonates through the air, Simone runs back and forth between members of the running group, ensuring no one is left behind. Her presence is not only limited to guiding and organising the runners but extends to fostering a true sense of inclusion and togetherness. While the running group could easily expand to accommodate more teams, the group is keen to cultivate an environment where community lies at the core. This is important to the group, knowing and remembering everyone's names and engaging in meaningful conversations. This caring and friendly community is what sets Rookie Runners apart and makes it more than just a running community. It becomes a sanctuary where authentic connections thrive, personal triumphs and challenges are shared, and a supportive network is cultivated.
The group's commitment to create a close-knit community is evident in the genuine interactions and bonds that form within the group. The result is a running community that not only supports physical fitness, but also cultivates a sense of comradery, personal growth, and lasting friendships.
THIS SEASON’S MUST-HAVE ESSENTIALS
Inspired by Rookie Runners' favourites, we have collected products for people who want to get their running journey started.
Amongst this selection, you will find short tights with plenty of storage, long sleeve t-shirts for those chilly mornings and late evenings, breathable and lightweight t-shirts, or singlets, for the hot summer days. Lastly, don't forget the small details that make all the difference, like a good pair of socks, a sun-blocking cap, and a supportive sports bra for women. Click the link here to get off to a running start.