Running is one of the most popular sports in the United States, and that’s also true in the Roanoke Region.
Our area is home to America’s Toughest Road Marathon, you can find a 5K or trail race on the calendar almost any weekend of the year, and area pub runs are growing by leaps and bounds.
So, let’s go for a run.
One of the appeals of running is that is something almost anyone can do and you can put as much or as little time into it as you like. Been thinking about running, but not sure where to start? Roanoke is home to plenty of groups to help you find support, training, and even just good conversation.
“We are here to support one another and our passion,” says Marion Childress, founder of C&C Runners.
Here’s a look at running groups, when they meet, and how you can get involved. There’s something for every skill level from walker to marathoner.
The Blacksburg Striders running club, located in Blacksburg, began in 1980 as the Virginia Tech Striders. Though the name has changed, our purpose remains the same: To provide community involvement and a source of camaraderie for local runners to enjoy group events, races, social activities, and community service in the context of the sport.
Members receive discounts from local athletic stores, reduced entrance fees to club-organized races.
The running group is a “ great place to make new running pals and ‘earn’ your favorite craft brews,” says Keno Snyder, owner/manager of Parkway Brewing Company. Get your card punched after each run and with three finishes, earn a pint for a penny.
For runners of like passions who like to share their adventures and photos. We love info on running, racing, encouragement, family functions, and info on upcoming races. The running team has been participating in events together since 2010. Each team member is assigned a unique team ID, such as those used by running groups such as Marathon Maniacs.
Franklin County-based running group plans weekly runs, an annual run from Rocky Mount to Ferrum College (CR10) and the Crooked Road 24 Hour Ultra (CR24) at Waid Park. Group also hosts social events. The CRRC is an RRCA affiliated club.
Pub runs are designed for runners who want to get out for 3 to 5 miles and join the group for food or drink afterward. Runs are designed for fun. Training groups happen throughout the year to prepare runners for specific events or goals. Learn more about training programs, including Zoomerangs for Kids, the Summer Speed Series, and the No Boundaries Path to 5K Running Program.
With three different types of groups, run follow a no runner left behind mindset and will stop and wait on runners to catch up. Start as a group, finish as a group. Formal and informal runs can be found on the Facebook page.
Run with a casual group of runners and train for events. “Our group is very low key and laid back,” says Ed Shepherd. “We get together on Saturdays but we also try to run together a couple of times during the week utilizing some of the other organized runs as our venue.”
Volunteer organized group of active individuals who celebrate a running and walking lifestyle. We welcome all speeds, levels of competitiveness (and non-competitive) and fitness levels to take part in races, fun events, and group runs for our health and well-being. Members participate in individual running activities, races, and as volunteers at area events and has been active Roanoke since the 1970s. The group also maintains a calendar of all of the races happening in the area.
The the first Pub Run Group in Roanoke is a group that likes to socialize after runs. The pub run has been taking place weekly since 2008. Find each week’s run on Facebook.
Trail Running training program that lasts six weeks and concludes with a social run for everyone. (There is also a 3-week training option.) The sessions will help you learn how to navigate trails and terrain, how to stay injury-free, and how to “think like a trail runner.”
Explore Roanoke with a running group that mixes it up with two group runs each week. The catch is that you never know where the run might take you because the location moves before each run and is announced on Facebook the day before. Recent runs have include 3- to 5-mile runs through Downtown Roanoke at night with glowing gear, runs along the greenway, and around the track at Hidden Valley High School. The group is large enough that every runner is sure to find a pace partner.
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