Jack Quinn’s Running Club

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Quinn’s Running Club was born, fittingly, over a boilermaker (typically a shot dropped into a beer). At the Tejon Street pub one night, word made it to co-owners Bill and Donna Sasz that it was [Ryan] Shininger’s 25th birthday. They bought the recent Florida transplant an Irish Car Bomb. As he talked with them, Shininger mentioned his surprise that no bars here sponsored a running club, like the one he had belonged to when he lived in Pensacola.

The Saszes said they’d support one, if Shininger would take the lead in putting it together. So he found some free-advertising outlets, and visited pre-existing running clubs and the Colorado Springs Young Professionals Group. Meanwhile, Quinn’s general manager, Ivette Gallegos, took care of some details: the time, the place, the post-run refreshments.

When the club held its first run last June [2006], Shininger and Gallegos hoped for 20 runners; about 70 showed up. Each week, its numbers increased. By summer’s end, more than 300 people were coming to the pub on Tuesdays after work, going out for a 5K, then coming back for free pasta, bread and salad, as well as discounted beer. ($2.50 pints.)

Running in the club is free, and there’s no commitment required. Participate ten times, and you qualify for a shirt.

“All running clubs are open to everyone, but they generally appeal to the hard-core running crowd,” Shininger explains. “Whereas with this, anyone can come out and run 5K, or walk even shorter than that.”

When asked what he’s most proud of, he cites the idea that he’s helped turn “a pub back into a pub.” “In Ireland, it’s more of a family thing — people bring kids to the pub,” he says. “It’s not about going out and getting drunk — it’s about socializing and meeting new people.”

www.jackquinnsrunners.com
21 S. Tejon St.
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Ivette Gallegos 719-385-0766

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