Member Profile: Jorge Saldarriaga
How lululemon Studio helps this runner stay in shape and give back to the city that raised him
Jorge Saldarriaga is a lululemon ambassador and Multicultural Planning & Operations Manager at Diageo. He is also the co-founder of the Grocery Run Club, a non-profit organization that supplies fresh produce and everyday necessities to underserved neighborhoods in Chicago.
Name: Jorge Saldarriaga
Occupation: Multicultural Planning & Operations Manager
Instagram username: @jorgeclooney
lululemon Studio Username: JorgeS
Jorge Saldarriaga took a long sip of water and wiped the sweat off his face. It was a mild October morning and the Chicago native had just finished a three-mile run with the GRC Run Club, a group he started two years earlier. Back then, the thought of a four-mile run seemed daunting, but now with a marathon under his belt, it felt more like a warmup.
The Run Club was a bit of a happy accident. In 2020, Saldarriaga and a friend were volunteering at a community garden, preparing boxes of fresh produce and other household necessities. When one of their vendors fell through, they decided to go on a grocery run and shop for the supplies themselves, asking friends for a $5 Venmo donation to cover the costs. The response was overwhelming. Soon, the Grocery Run Club was launched to “supply fresh produce and everyday necessities to underserved neighborhoods in Chicago.” Funded through a combination of monthly donations and corporate sponsors, it was an instant success.
But for Saldarriaga, a former high school athlete, something was still missing. “I wasn't as positive or happy as I wanted to be. I wanted to get back in shape and knew I needed to start running again.”
He purchased a lululemon Studio Mirror and went to work. “As a runner. You can't just run,” he explains. “You need to add recovery classes. You need to add strength classes. My Mirror gives me all that and allows me to take a quick class during the work day, move my body, and reground myself.”
Around this time, lululemon reached out about starting an actual run club to support the Grocery Run Club. Within weeks, the GRC Run Club was formed, becoming the first Latinx-led running club in the U.S. sponsored by lululemon. They meet twice a month for 3-5 mile runs and hold activities like community clean-ups or group shopping trips afterward.
Saldarriaga’s hard work paid off last October when he crossed the Chicago Marathon finish line in less than four hours, an accomplishment that seemed impossible three years earlier. “The running community here is special. It’s growing. It’s changing. It’s paving the way for not only the Latino community but all our BIPOC communities to become healthier, physically and mentally.” Saldarriaga takes another sip of his water and smiles, “And this is just the beginning.”