Raleigh, N.C. — Now that warmer weather has arrived and the days are longer you may have noticed more people than usual out and about running. There is actually an incredibly strong running culture here in the Triangle. Not only are there many great greenways to run, but there are several excellent local races and a number of fantastic run clubs that add a social aspect to running that makes the whole experience even more fun and rewarding.
Local run clubs typically meet year round providing runners an opportunity to meet each week to run, socialize, and in some cases maybe enjoy a craft beer or two. They are very casual, free to join (just show up) and are a great way to keep your weekly runs interesting and meet new people. Many of the clubs meet at local breweries or bottle shops between 6 and 7 p.m. after the workday so afterwards it’s easy for the runners re-group for a post-run drink and compare notes about their training and upcoming races.
These informal run clubs are very welcoming and inclusive. They love new people and are comprised of runners of all ages and skill levels. It doesn’t matter if you are a first timer or seasoned runner. Each club typically has multiple routes and distance options available ranging from 3, 4 and 6 miles.
When you arrive, there is a volunteer organizer who can answer questions and explain the routes. In some cases, you may be asked to sign in. This is simply done to track attendance as many clubs give out free T-shirts and other promotions after you attend a certain number of clubs.
Don’t worry if you are new to running and or are afraid that you might not be able to keep up. These clubs are for runners of all speeds. The groups typically don’t run in one big mass of runners. People tend to naturally break off into smaller packs of similarly paced runners so no matter what your speed you will likely always be running with others. There’s no pressure to run a certain pace or go a certain distance, you can make the run suit your needs and abilities. The most important thing is to have a good time.
Over the years, I have found run clubs to be a great place to meet new friends and grow as a runner. They keep me motivated to show up to put in the miles each week. They also provide the opportunity to learn about upcoming races and promotions and talk to more experienced runners for advice about running gear or pick up a training tip or two. I think the most important aspect of a run club is the support and encouragement you receive from your fellow runners. If you are a beginner, you are likely to meet other beginners going through the same process as you. If you are getting ready for a race, somebody else in the club is bound to also be training for the same event. Running may be an individual sport, but sharing the experience with others makes it even more enjoyable and at the end of the day that’s really what counts. You can find a run club near you nearly every night of the week.
Here is a list of local area run clubs across the Triangle:
- Nog Run Club - Mondays at 6 p.m.
- Big Boss Run Club - Tuesday 7 p.m. (March-September), 6 p.m. (October), and Sundays (November-March) noon
- White Street Running Club - Tuesdays 7 p.m.
- Apex Lifetime Fitness Run Club - Tuesday and Thursdays at 6 p.m.
- Bond Brothers Brewing Run Club - Tuesdays 6:30 p.m.
- Bull City Running Fullsteam Ahead Run Club - Wednesdays at 6pm (Season Kickoff March 16)
- Trophy Brewing / YMCA Run Club - Wednesdays at 6pm
- Fleet Feet Brew Run at Raleigh Brewing - Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.
- Clayton Area Runners - Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.
- Fuquay Varina Running Club - Thursdays 6:30 p.m.
- River Run Club - Thursdays at 7 p.m.
- Runologie Run Club - Thursdays at 6 p.m.
- Bottle Revolution 3 Run Club - Thursdays at 6:15 p.m.
- Fleet Feet Breakfast Club Run - Saturdays at 9 a.m.
- Bull City Running Group - Saturdays 7 a.m.