The Simple Pleasure Of The Weekly Group Run

AJWs TaproomWhile there are certain less-appealing aspects of modernity’s ubiquitous presence of social media, one of the great blessings is the way in which people can connect and get a peek into what other people are doing. In this respect, I find particular motivation in how news passed over the internet inspires my own running and my own desire, from time to time, to hop into a few group runs.

On any given day over my Twitter or Strava feeds, I have the chance to voyeuristically check in on my friends and their runs. Whether it is Craig Thornley and his weekly “hunts” with a ragtag group of Californians or Jimmy Dean Freeman and his “Coyotes” in the San Gabriels, group runs are documented the world over.

Looking for companionship in the the deserts of Arizona? Check our what Jamil and Nick Coury are up to. British Columbia? Look no further than Gary Robbins. How about the nation’s capitol? The VHTRC folks have that covered. In short, there are groups all over the place connecting to do what we love. Just looking at that from the outside makes me happy.

Of course, I have not yet gotten my act together to host weekly group runs here in Charlottesville, Virginia but I am working on it. So, stay tuned.

Finally, what I find particularly compelling is that this modern technological connectivity has allowed people to share what is, essentially, an utterly simple and solitary activity. I’ll admit it, I derive most of my running pleasure while running alone. However, on those rare occasions when I can jump in with a group, I love it. Maybe all this technology isn’t so bad after all!

Bottoms up!

Wachusett Brewing Company  Larry's Imperial IPAAJW’s Beer of the Week

This week’s Beer of the Week comes from Wachusett Brewing Company in Westminster, Massachusetts. Their Larry Imperial IPA provides a perfect sendoff to summer. It is one of those imperials that has just the right amount of resin to warm the heart without beating the senses too much. Worth a try next time you’re in New England!

Call for Comments (from Meghan)

  • How often do you run in a group? What about group running do you enjoy most?
  • Do you keep tabs on the running of others via Twitter, Strava, and other social media? If so, what about this act of connecting do you most enjoy? And, whose running do you enjoy following?

There are 10 comments

  1. barwic01

    I just recently joined a group run and love it now. When I am by myself I go a little faster but when I am with the group I really just want to stay and share the experience with other individuals. I am still figuring out the dynamics of the group but then also noticing different routes along the same path I always run. How do different people plant their feet in this section? Do they step on the tree root like me or just up to the next dirt section? Do they climb the rocks or take the side dirt path?

    It is all very interesting and I am glad I joined a group!

  2. senelly

    HURT, as in the Hawaii…Ultra…Running…Team is a mythical group that was often rumored to be seen trodding tropical trails within sight of Waikiki. Weekly. Back in the last century, I fell in with this Big-John-the-guru led band of rain forest gremlins on their Sunday runs through the enchanted bamboo forests of Tantalus, a green goddess of a mountain overlooking the vast Pacific. Although elusive, this gang of trail hooligans joyously thumbed their dirty noses at other Sunday pursuits… golf, church, and the like, as they wended their way over roots and rocks, ate fruit off the trailside trees, drank water from pristine springs, and otherwise ran and talked their way through most of the world's problems. We became a family. And like all families, we loved, argued, joked, and felt superior to all other families still sleeping or stuck in traffic… Then, one day, having missed the WS lottery, we jumped into the Angeles Crest 100 and ran it as a group. We adopted a guy from San Diego whose pacer was a no show… and 'pelotoned' it from aid station to aid station… whooping, "HURT! HURT! HURT!" as we restocked. To this day, every one of us remembers that crazy day and the wonderful people who helped us along. Some of us are still running; some are not… we now have a 100 of our own in Hawaii… but all of us are grateful for what began as a Sunday morning away from workday cares. Sigh.

  3. klickteig

    Omaha, Nebraska has an awesome group called the G.O.A.T.z (Greater Omaha Area Trail Runners). There are several weekly group runs. Many people keep updated via the Facebook G.O.A.T.z page. We are a welcoming group so if you happen to be in Omaha, NE hit us up for a run!

  4. twsobey

    Thanks for the post. I agree that technology and social media have allowed us to (more easily) be inspired by other and find like-minded runners. The biggest change I've seen is in allowing for a diversity of running sites. Pre-social media, running groups had to have a consistent location where members and new runners could meet. Now, everyone can find out where to meet which means the groups can try new trails. Over the last year, my running group in Boise has been able to introduce new runners to more of our local trail system thanks to the help of social media keeping everyone connected.

  5. nelsonprater

    We get excited about Christmas. We're already planning our 3rd annual Christmas cookie swap run. Saturday, Dec. 20 – 7 a.m. 1130 Beachview Street Dallas, TX. Everyone brings a batch of their favorite Christmas cookies, and a plate to take samples of others' cookies home with them. We do a great little super-hilly 9-miler together, and then we have cookies, eggnog, chocolate milk, and coffee afterwards on the tailgates of our circled pickups. That's pretty good for the last December Saturday morning before Christmas. Come join us!

  6. 00joeuhan

    It should be pointed out the "Tuesday Night Hunt" of Craig Thornley's was an Oregon original (and named as such by a fellow runner, who drove past that rag-tag group of runners – bedecked in bright rain gear – and asked if they were "going hunting").

    As part of historical record, it's also known that a consistent part of Ann Trason's training during her competitive period was a fun, easy weekday group run. They work wonders in getting in easy mileage that is both enjoyable and relaxing, and great training.

    1. ajoneswilkins

      Yes, the Ann Trason weekly run was the Woodminster 9 in the East Bay. I went there dozens of times. It was before all these young fast annoying guys moved to Marin:)

  7. TonyMollica

    The Southeastern Ohio Trailrunners (SEOTR) have a nice group running going. I just need to recruit some fellow old and slow runners so that I have some people that I can keep up with!

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