Yeah, so I am “one of those” who doesn’t ‘believe’ in New Year’s Resolutions. But I do believe in goal setting, and plotting out my running as strategically and methodically as possible. Just call me obsessive-compulsive … about running (well, about anything).
In the spirit on New Year’s Resolutions, however, I do want to share an excellent way to really delve into the running community, and feel like ‘the real deal’, and immerse yourself deeper into the sport.
That is where Running Clubs comes in. Last year (2015) was the first year I officially joined a running club. I laughed, even rolled my eyes, at some of my fellow Run Oregon team when they began discussing running clubs in December of 2014. A running club! Who needs a club!? I love running … what more could there possibly be to make me love running more, and feel more engaged with the running community?!
Well, what did I do? Secretly … well, not so secretly, but kinda of secretly joined ORRC (Oregon Road Runners Club). Why? Well, fellow blogger Marilyn Tycer told me about the 1,200 Club by ORRC. This club is for ORRC members who wish to challenge themselves to achieve 1,200 miles in a year. A year is defined as January 1 through December 31. When I heard of this challenge, I was in! I *love* a challenge and competition. And, if you successfully complete the challenge, you receive a “1,200 Club” jacket. Brilliant!
Let me take you for a ‘tour’ of some of the running clubs that are out there, and what some of the perks are for members by joining. This list is by no means a complete listing. Feel free to comment on this post and list other clubs you are familiar with and would recommend to fellow Run Oregon readers!
Oregon Road Runners Club (ORRC): This is where it all started for me, as far as running clubs go! This club is based out of the Portland-Metro area. “Oregon Road Runners Club (ORRC) is the West Coast’s largest running club whose members run, walk, train and socialize together. By becoming a member, you gain access to a vast array of benefits including: discounts to ORRC sponsored races, Tuesday and Thursday training runs and treats, 1200 club benefits including a high-tech running jacket, annual banquet, store discounts, and more.” One year membership into ORRC is $30* for an individual membership, or $40* for a family membership. *Information received 12/31/2015 indicates that individual membership will be $45 beginning 1/1/2016.
Clark County Running Club (CCRC): Are you familiar, or have you always wanted to participate in the coveted Vancouver Lake Half Marathon? Well, CCRC puts on this race! For an annual $10 fee, or $20 for a family membership, this is an amazing bang-for-your-buck. Some details on this club, based in Clark County (Vancouver), Washington – “Our club is dedicated to providing regular, fun and diverse running events for our members throughout Clark County. Our goal is to promote health, fitness & fun for runners of all ages & abilities. To do this we work together to organize races/events that encourage running as a life-long way of staying healthy and having fun doing so. From our weekly summer series of races to our theme runs (Turkey Trot, Halloween Run, Hangover Run, etc), we work hard to provide our members both the opportunity to participate in timed running events and at the same time offer a fun social connection with other runners in our area.”
Oregon Track Club: Based in Eugene, the Oregon Track Club supports community service programs in Eugene, such as maintaining Pre’s Trail, the Butte to Butte 4th of July Race, and the Prefontaine Classic. Individual membership is $30, with family membership at $40. Some benefits to members include: “monthly newsletters, membership directory, annual dinner/program, discounts at participating area merchants, the Eugene Marathon, and at OTC events like Aquafina Butte to Butte, Pre’s Trail Cross Country Challenge, and our monthly run/walk series. Children 18 and under included in a Family Membership receive free entry to the OTC All Comers’ Meets.”
Willamette Valley Road Runners (WVRR): Based in Salem, WVRR has a generous listing of benefits for its members, including: “… a club that raises over $39,000 a year for local schools, athletic programs and other charities, with eight club sponsored races every year. Members receive a quarterly newsletter, discounted entry fee to any of the eight club sponsored races, 10% discount on shoes at Gallagher Fitness Resources, no joining fee for first time members to the YMCA in Salem … and lots of great people to run with!” Membership fees are $20 for an individual or $30 for a family.
Team Red Lizard: Our very own Run Oregon crew knows this group well! Joe Dudman, runner and racer extraordinaire, is a member of Team Red Lizard, as is ever-joyful, energetic and enthusiastic Marilyn Tycer. $30 secures an individual membership to this prestigious club, or $50 for a family. You may have seen Team Red Lizard pacers at many popular, Portland-area events (such as the Portland Marathon). Membership benefits include: “A Mizuno tech fabric running shirt emblazoned with the world famous Red Lizard logo (we could stop there and it would be a good deal, but we won’t!); Laminated membership card good for 15% off all purchases at Foot Traffic stores, and a whopping 25% off all Mizuno merchandise at Foot Traffic stores; Bi-monthly club newsletter, the Red Lizard Gazette, mailed to your residence; Access to the Members Forum on the hyperactive club internet message board; Participation in the TRL Summer Series; Chance to be an official pacer for the Portland Marathon; Chance to join the highly competitive Team Red Lizard cross country teams for the fall series; And while not exclusive to members, TRL offers opportunities to volunteer for the Special Olympics each year, as well as volunteer at a local homeless shelter once a month.”
Central Oregon Running (CORK): CORK offers an array of member benefits. Membership is $20 for individuals, an additional $5 for spouse/significant other and $30 for a youth session (fall or spring) per athlete. As an avid trail runner, one perk about CORK is their Trail Team – “CORK currently provides trail maintenance support for several key Central Oregon trails, including: Deschutes River Trail, North Fork/Fall Creek Trail, and others. CORK organizes trail work parties to assist with maintaining these trails.”
The Gresham Running Club: Seriously, you might have to read this twice … check this out about Gresham Running Club — it’s FREE! “Joining is as easy as sending us a message, showing up for the runs, “liking us on Facebook, then BOOM… You’re a member of The Gresham Running Club! There are no dues, there are no fees, there is no red tape. All that is required is a yearning to become a better athlete and the drive to do something about it. Everyone, all paces, all speeds, all abilities are welcome here at #TeamGRC. Every year we will design a new “club shirt” and other articles of clothing so if you feel compelled to represent #TeamGRC on the streets, at races, or in your everyday life, you will have an opportunity to purchase these items.”
For 2016, I decided to join the Oregon Track Club. As I live in Eugene, Oregon Track Club appealed to me more than ORRC, as the club is based out of Eugene, so I am able to access and take advantage of the membership perks more. I hope wherever your New Year takes you, you have a wonderful, exciting, fulfilling time running in 2016!