by Amanda at RunToTheFinish.com
Maggie did a great job of showing us all why group runs are beneficial, but if you’ve followed all of her tips for finding a group and there is nothing in your area, then why not be the first? If starting a running group sounds too hard, I’d like to remind you that you are a runner…what you do every time you lace up is hard and yet you have found the strength.
Don’t worry about being too fast or too slow. Every group will evolve overtime on it’s own to cater to a variety of paces. Just get started and keep showing up like you do for your runs. Many great friendships and relationships have been born out of a running club!
TIPS TO GET STARTED
1. Name It: Consider naming your group something that immediately tells people what the group is about or simply where you are located. i.e. Miami Run Club, Boston Women’s Track Club, Fast Moms with Strollers or Slow Runners Trail Group. As you begin posting online or in stores the name will be important to help people understand who you want to attend.
2. Start Recruiting: It takes just one or two friends to create a group. But once you’ve decided to expand your circle here are some other tactics:
-Post a flyer at a local running store
-Post it on meetup.com or Active.com
-Share it with co-workers, at church, at your children’s school…be brave!
-Post it on your blog, on Facebook, on Twitter
3. Select a Location: Some groups choose to move each week and run in different areas, while others always meet at the same spot. When you are first starting the group it’s easiest to start from the same location, at the same time on the same days every week. This pattern ensures that other runners see you and can find you. Important thoughts for selecting your starting point:
-Consider starting from a local running store. Many stores will provide 10% off on group run nights and they’ll be more likely to promote the run.
-Ensure parking is easily available.
-Ensure the area is well lit for safety. Remember that while it may be light during summer runs, once winter hits you want everyone to feel comfortable and safe in the dark.