- You get to meet other runners. Obviously. You can talk to your heart’s content about trainers, and – if you’re lucky – you might find race buddies too. I feel much happier about running my first 10k race alongside two experienced runners, who can carry me if need be. (They don’t know this is part of the deal.)
- You might get freebies. In Sweatshop clubs there are all sorts of treats to sweeten the deal, including a discount card. I got this fetching yellow T-shirt that bugs LOVE to stick to after five weeks of running with them.
- You get distracted. Running a cold 5k in the rain is hard. Having someone alongside you, answering your panted questions about their running background, is immensely helpful.
- Special events. We don’t have terribly many, but there’s an annual run (with medals!!) for the anniversary of our shop opening, in September. Last year there was a great turnout and we had scampi afterwards. (Important detail.) Also we did a ‘guesstimate’ in January, where were had to estimate how long we’d take to run just over 5k, no watches or phones allowed. I was robbed – just 20 seconds out! Next year…
- Sometimes you just don’t feel like going for a run, and being part of a group leaves you with a teeny, tiny guilty voice in your head. And on your Facebook wall. Although really, perhaps that’s a good thing?
- You might get stuck running with someone boring, or unfriendly. It happens – but again, it’s a blessing in disguise, as it’s sure to motivate you to pick up your speed.
Of course, the other option (and perhaps the best of both worlds) is joining a virtual running club… More on that later!
Here we all are, marshalling at Park Run – I’m towards the right
Are you in a running club?