Birmingham Swifts was formed in 2014 in order to provide a running group aimed at LGBT people in Birmingham. We are a social group that is open to everyone, no matter what ability, age, sexuality or gender.
By meeting new people and running together, we aim to help you with your own running, whether you’re aiming for a specific event or just wanting to keep fit.
All of our runs are based in Birmingham city centre, aided by our England Athletics approved run leader.
For more information, please email info[@]birminghamswifts.co.uk (please remove the square brackets around the @, we need them on this page to stop spambots!)
We know joining a group for the first time can be a little scary. So, as well as promising to be friendly, here are some of the questions runners had before they joined the Birmingham Swifts:
How much does it cost?
It is free to come and run with the Birmingham Swifts. This includes a bag storage and changing facilities. (Please be advised we currently have no shower facilities)
How far do i have to run?
We recommend that you can run for 20 minutes continuously if you would like to join us on a Thursday evening. If you don’t think that is manageable, why not try our Starting Out sessions, which are held periodically throughout the year and are a great way to get from the couch to running 5km in 2-3 months.
What speed do I have to run at?
We accept all runners, no matter how fast or slow you think you might be. All of our sessions incorporate something for everyone, which means that no-one holds anyone back.
Do you call it off if it’s wet or cold?
Only if the pavements are icy will we call off the run, which we’ll notify in advance on our Facebook Group, Facebook Page and Twitter. Even if it’s raining or cold, we’ll still go out so make sure you dress accordingly!
What should I wear?
Having the right pair of shoes is the most important – there are hundreds of different running shoes, so make sure you get the right style for you. We strongly recommend visiting a running store so you can get your gait analysed. In terms of your clothes, wear breathable fabrics that will keep you warm and dry. Chat to some of the runners to get some advice about what might work for you.
Do I have to declare any health conditions?
Although we will ask you if you have any conditions we should be aware of, participation in the group is at your own risk. We strongly recommend you consult your doctor if you are suffering from any condition that might make running injurious to your health.
I’m pregnant – can I join you?
If you are pregnant, please consult your doctor and follow their advice, even if you have been running regularly before.
Is the group qualified and insured?
Each run has someone who is qualified as a Leader in Running Fitness by England Athletics. As such, they are provided with public liability insurance whilst taking part in Birmingham Swifts sessions. Details of exactly what cover is provided is available on request.
Can I bring a dog along?
Unfortunately our licence does not allow dogs.
I’m straight – can I still come along?
Of course! We’re open to everyone, no matter what your sexuality. However, please recognise Birmingham Swifts exists to provide a running group for LGBT people, so some activities will be aimed to the LGBT community.
Children under age of 12?
Our run leaders are qualified to lead all ages of adult, and children from the age of 12. Sadly, we do not have trained leaders or insurance for runners below the age of 12yrs. Junior parkrun held in various parks on a Sunday morning will be able to support you and some of our members volunteer at this event locally in Cannon Hill Park.
12-18 year old runners?
From 12-16yrs we ask that runners bring along a responsible adult to run with them. Ideally a parent or guardian or someone who has their permission to bring you along. From 16-18yrs, runners should bring along their adult to run with them or written permission from them to run with us without a guardian present. Please also see FAQs above regarding how far you need to be able to run. Our post-run social is usually held at The Fox on Lower Essex St from 8:30pm on Thursday evenings. Andy, the manager welcomes families and adult accompanied under 18’s in his well-tended beer garden to socialise with our other members and chat.
Got a question that isn’t answered here?
Please e-mail info[@]birminghamswifts.co.uk (please remove the square brackets around the @, we need them on this page to stop spambots!).