Whether you love to run or find working out to be a drag, it's always more fun with friends - and there is no shortage of social events in the Raleigh area to help keep you in shape this holiday season. (So even if you lose the battle with the egg nog or sausage balls, you can make up for it at least once a week!)
Monday Night nOg Run (Downtown Raleigh): All Monday night nOg runs begin at Tir na nOg at 6 p.m. with post-run events beginning at 7 p.m. This gathering has just recently started a new route, but offers route cards before each run and also provides course monitors. nOg run also offers at five mile route extension. They also share some pertinent advice in their email newsletter: "do not run more than two people side-by-side and definitely don't run in the middle of the street!" (Just like your mama always told you...) Note: You MUST wear a headlamp/flashlight or wear reflective gear during the winter season. Reflective gear and lights are for sale each week, all for $8.00 or less, cash and credit card accepted.
Big Boss Run Club (Lake Boone Trail): Every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., the Big Boss Brewing winter runs are taking place at new Raleigh retail shop, Bottle Revolution. (The run will head back to Big Boss as daylight slowly comes back in 2012.) This group meets on the back patio of Bottle Revolution and follows a 3.1 mile (5k) or five mile route - enjoying some well-deserved beers after. This is social/fun run, so all paces are welcomed.
Fit Mamas at Fleet Feet Sports (Ridgewood Shopping Center): This group meets Wednesdays at 9 a.m. and welcomes new moms, moms with children in strollers, expecting moms... pretty much any type of mom! Fleet Feet staffer and mom Jenny coordinates the group for a 1-3 mile walk or run. Drinks provided. Moms who attend 10 runs get a free shirt! Note: All children must be in a stroller. If it is below 30 degrees or raining at 7:30am the group doesn't run.
Thursday Social Runs at Fleet Feet Sports (Ridgewood Shopping Center): All paces welcome on Thursdays at 6 p.m. This is a social group for walkers, run/walkers, and runners - exploring the Ridge Road neighborhood for approximately 30-60 minutes, depending on what everyone wants to do when they arrive. Fleet Feet even helps to match you to others of a similar pace. Refreshments and maps provided.
Expect to sign a "run at your own risk" waiver at many, if not all, of these events. Among other rules employed by the Tir na nOg Run Club is one we think will help you find the most success at these events: "Rule 6. Don't be a stranger! This is as much a social club as it is a run club! Try to meet one person each run."
Any other local social run/walk/workout groups to share? Don't be shy, let us know in the comments below.