With new gear in the closet and a new resolution to fulfill, Thurston County runners of all abilities will be hitting the streets and treadmills in the next few weeks. This year why go it alone when you can meet up with other local runners for scheduled runs. You’ll snag some motivation and encouragement and the miles will slip by in conversation. If you are new to running, a group may be just what you need to keep the commitment. It’s fairly easy to skip a solo work out on the treadmill. “My running group gets me out the door and running on dark, rainy Monday nights.” Alicia Young, Guerilla Running groupie. Do not worry about being the slowest runner. You are not. If a running group says “all welcome” they mean it.
Top 10 reasons to join a Thurston County running group:
- We can all use motivation and coaching from fellow runners. Whether you’re an age division winner or first time runner, advice and motivation are always welcome.
- Running will become an automatic part of your routine. Running groups typically have weekly scheduled runs. Put them on your calendar and treat them like a job. Don’t let your running co-workers down!
- You will have captive ears to share your achievements with. Have you ever seen that glazed look of non-runners when a runner starts sharing PR’s, workouts, and mile-by-mile race replays. Your running buddies will be fascinated!
- Structured times and workouts will make you a better runner. Your brain is taxed at school and work, let the running coach give your mind a break and let your legs do the heavy work.
- You’ll build your workout partners ten-fold. By expanding your workout friends you’ll be able to buddy up during non-group run days and increase your fitness.
- Chat and enjoy each other’s company. Runners are cool. It’s a known fact. Skip the therapist couch and go for a run with friends. You’ll come back with all those important questions answered.
- Get tips on racing, nutrition, gear and more. Runners love their gear. Get the inside scoop on what works, what’s worth the money, and what to leave at the store. Find out what races hand out the best swag or what to eat pre, during, or post race.
- See Thurston County! Explore the Eastside, Westside, Tumwater and more. You’ll be more seasoned than the pizza delivery person on directions around town.
- Make friends to race with and against! Hang-out before races with your running buds and then cheer each other on at the finish.
- Real-life runners are always way more supportive, funny, and cool (have I mentioned how cool runners are?) than any runner on a blog or online forum. You might just meet friends you’ll have for life.
Thurston County Running Groups
When & where they meet: Wednesdays 5:30PM. Olympia Farmer’s Market and Saturdays 8AM Marathon Park. All levels. All welcome!
Additionally: If you are looking for the one-stop shopping of all running groups, Guerilla Running has you covered. With coaches Rachael Jamison and Craig Dickson leading the charge you can choose from a variety of training programs, varying in distance, season, race specific and terrain. They even offer options like yoga, speed training, and boot-camps. Go to www.guerillarunning.com for all the details on races, running groups and more.
Below are just a few options Guerilla Running offers.
- Full Marathon Training Program (for Eugene Marathon). This 16 week program starts Saturday, January 14th. Meets Tuesdays (PM), Wednesdays (PM) and Saturdays (AM).
- Mountain Marathon and Hillbilly Half Training Program. Runs January 8th – March 3rd. Meets Sundays, 7:30AM at the West Olympia Starbucks behind Rite-Aid.
- Half Marathon Training Program (for Eugene Half Marathon). This 12-week program starts February 4th. Meets Tuesdays (PM), Wednesdays (PM) and Saturdays (AM).
Olympia Trail Runners
When & where they meet: Thursdays at Priest Point Park. Spring and Summer meet at 6PM at the Rose Gardens located on the eastside of the Park. Beer at Fishbowl following the run.
Additionally: The Olympia Trail Runners welcome all levels of runners with runs typically lasting 45 minutes to an hour, weaving through the trails of Priest Point. For more information contact Herb Reeves at www.trail-run-crazy.com and while you are there, sign up for his trail running newsletter.
When & where they meet: Mondays 5:30PM at South Sound Running for a quality effort training run. These runs typically cycle through tempo runs, interval training, hill training and an easy/recovery week. Wednesday 6pm, the group meets at Marathon Park near Capitol Lake for an easy 5 mile run. The purpose of the Wednesday run is to have a good time and converse! Everyone is welcome regardless of pace, ability or membership status.
Additionally: Capital City 5 Mile Training Group. This 16 week program starts Saturday, January 21st, 8:30AM at South Sound Running. This program is designed for new runners or those who have NO running experience. For more info on this program and more go to the Club Oly website or stop by South Sound Running. www.clubolyrunning.com
When & where they meet: Train and run for the Capital City Marathon or Half Marathon! Beginning with a Continental breakfast on Saturday, January 14th at 8:30AM in the Olympia High School Food Court, this program will train you all the way to race day. Group lectures and runs are at 7:30AM, Saturdays at South Sound Running. All runs include water stops. Whether you are a seasoned runner or just a beginner, they will help you meet your goal. For more information call or stop by South Sound Running. 3409 Capital Blvd. (360)705-2580 or go to www.southsoundrunning.com
Barron Park Striders Track & Field Club
When & where they meet: Formal practices will be held two or three times per week from mid-April to early July at Olympia High School track.
Additionally: The club is primarily a Youth club, but Masters and Open athletes are welcome. Beginners are welcome!” BPS is a fantastic program for children of all athletic abilities. Coach Drew not only teaches the fundamentals of track and field and cross country, but he teaches many “life” lessons to the children who participate in BPS. The kids learn dedication, teamwork, setting and accomplishing goals, and pushing to successfully complete something that is challenging. ” Carie Bussey, BPS mom. Visit www.barronparkstriders.yolasite.com for all the details