Running groups typically offer camaraderie, motivation and culpability. For these reasons, thousands of runners throughout the world join such clubs and crews to partake in their multitude of social and athletic benefits.
Some running clubs set a higher bar when it comes to weekly run gatherings. Check out this sprinkling of superstar run groups providing innovative, social fun:
Los Angeles, California
Since 2013, the BlacklistLA Run Organization has connected runners to art, priding itself on promoting cultural awareness and discovery through athletics. On Mondays at 10 p.m., BlacklistLA holds an art run in which approximately 300 runners run to different pieces of street art displayed around Los Angeles. On Wednesday nights, BlackListLA uses public transit to see the city using alternative transportation. In September, BlacklistLA puts on the Happy Birthday LA 5K — celebrating the birthday of the City of Los Angeles. It takes place at 8 p.m., allowing runners to view the downtown lights.
2. BRUNCH RUNNING
Established four years ago, bRUNch Running takes your favorite weekend meal and connects it to your favorite physical activity — brunch and running, together at last. You will find both timed and untimed running events throughout the year and all are family- and dog-friendly. After the run, join bRUNchers for food. A ticket includes brunch, two beverages of choice, tax, gratuity and a donation to a local nonprofit.
3. DISTRICT RUNNING COLLECTIVE
Started in 2013, this run crew promotes culture and community throughout the District of Columbia. It meets on Wednesdays and blasts trap music, as well as holds its Midnight on Mars event. This annual running experience gives participants the chance to run the H-Street Corridor and Capitol Hill neighborhoods at 12 a.m., allowing them to see D.C. in an untraditional way.
Fun fact: The group started when one of the founders threw himself a birthday party and invited anyone who wanted to run a 5K at night. They marked the route with glow-in-the-dark chalk. About 100 people showed up.
With approximately 100 run clubs in large cities around the world and in almost every U.S. state, Frontrunners is for the LGBTQ running and walking community. Most local chapters offer weekly runs and walks and some hold after-run parties at nearby restaurants. In Seattle, Frontrunners enjoy coffee get togethers after Saturday morning runs.
5. HARLEM RUN
New York City, New York
Founded in 2013, Harlem Run has grown into one of the most organized and inspirational run groups in the country. Welcoming anyone from young to old, the group gets together to run through urban communities and encourages Harlem citizens to get in shape. In addition, it holds annual retreats outside of New York. Most recently, runners met up in Costa Rica for a running adventure. Bonus: Membership is free! (You do not find that often in New York City.)
6. HASH HOUSE HARRIERS
Known as the “drinking club with a running problem,” Hash House Harriers have local clubs throughout the world. Participants call themselves “hashers,” and refer to their running activities as “hashing.” Typically, someone is the hare and sets the course for others to follow as they run through city streets and trails. Most of the runs end at local watering holes as participants drink and feel merry. They welcome all levels of physical fitness — many who join do not call themselves runners. Pro tip: In the city devoted to specialized IPAs, the San Diego Hashers end their runs at one of the world-renowned breweries for a drink festival.
7. RESIDENT RUNNERS
New York City, New York
Since 2013, the Resident Runners have weaved their way through the streets of New York City, fighting against traffic and stop lights. Encouraged to chase the person ahead of them, runners hold a tempo pace during their Thursday runs. On a Saturday, once a month, the group runs and then stops for tacos and margaritas. Note: Runs are hardcore; do not plan to talk or dilly dally. You can do that at the after-party.
READ MORE > WHY RUNNERS SHOULD JOIN A RUN CREW