Aoibhinn Raleigh had no idea how many people would show up for the “actually for beginners” running group, Sole Mates when she started it at the beginning of May.

After just four weeks, the newest running club in Dublin had over 100 strangers join them for weekend runs, and the group has almost 3,000 Instagram followers.

Making friends comes first at Sole Mates, according to Aoibhinn, and running comes second. Every Saturday, they choose a different part of Dublin to gather for a 5k run, followed by coffee.

Aoibhinn said, “Dubliners are looking for new ways to socialise and take care of their bodies at the same time, which is why she thinks the demand for Sole Mates has been crazy since its introduction.”

“I did not expect it to take off like it has but there's such an appetite for it. It took off after its introduction at the beginning of May. With over 120 attendees, last weekend was the largest one ever.”

“While some come to run, their true purpose is to socialise. Even though we've only completed four runs, you can see that the same individuals return each week. They cross paths and reunite thereafter.”

Aoibhinn underlined that there is “no pressure” involved and that anybody is more than welcome to attend Sole Mates.

“My message for anyone who wants to join is that we're a group that's interested in meeting people and moving their body a little bit on the side,” she concluded.