The irony of running is that while it often feels like an individual sport — and some of us cherish our time alone on the roads or trails — it also is a very social activity. Races aren’t just competitive events; they are also celebrations of the running community and its devotion to fitness.
The social aspect of running also lends itself to running clubs, where we can enjoy the camaraderie of group runs, related social activities, the exchange of training tips and the support of like-minded people.
“It forces you to have a bit of accountability,” said Ben Reisinger, who belongs to the Belmar Running Club in Lakewood. “People see that you come, you’re showing up, but there’s also the social aspect. Runners and people in the fitness community do fit things together.”
Reisinger joined the Belmar club in 2016 while in the process of losing 190 pounds and training for his first marathon. He moved from Lakewood to Lone Tree last fall, but he still commutes to Belmar for Thursday night runs with the group.
“When I was bigger, I would do unhealthy things like drink on the weekends,” Reisinger said. “Runners are going to bed early on Friday because they have a long run on Saturday morning. Being around that community and people who have the same values kind of pushes you to adopt those values. I’ve really enjoyed being a part of the community.”
Looking for your running community? Here are 10 Denver-area running clubs for you to consider. Let us know of others you think belong on our list.
Belmar Running Club
Type: A group for all ages and abilities, Belmar was formed in 2010 at Runner’s Roost Lakewood, according to club president Lisa Wilson, and has met weekly on Thursdays ever since. “We’ve logged tens of thousands of miles and formed many ‘fast’ friendships, even a few romances,” Wilson said. They run in Belmar Park, so they never have to deal with vehicular traffic, and they like to say “Run Club is Fun Club.”
Number of members: 40-50
The vibe: “Our runners come in all shapes, sizes and speeds,” Wilson said. “Our commonality is that we love to run.”
Contact info: Belmarrunningclub@gmail.com, or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BelmarRunningClub
Colorado Columbines Women’s Running Club
Type: This venerable club was formed in 1978 to promote recreational and competitive running for women of all ages and abilities. Club member Kim Zahn said it reflects the general population of female runners from beginners to ultra marathoners, “from turtles to rabbits.” Members live anywhere from Evergreen to Broomfield to Aurora. There are Sunday runs, fun runs and track workouts. There is an optional group within the group called Distance Divas.
Number of members: Approximately 200
The vibe: “The club has two fundamental goals: to provide women runners with an opportunity to build a social network of runners and to support the running community,” Zahn said. “The club encourages and empowers women to run, no matter their age or ability.”
Cost: $35 per year ($20 additional per optional Distance Divas session)
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Source:: The Denver Post – Lifestyle