We are lucky in Oregon, where there are many locally-owned running stores in towns from Ashland to Portland. We’re also lucky in that the owners of these stores aren’t content with “just” selling shoes … they consider it their privilege to offer group runs, help with races, and support youth and other cause running and racing programs.
Gallagher Fitness is one of these stores. They have been in downtown Salem for 20 (!) years now and are just mere blocks from miles and miles of trails in 1 of Salem’s 4 main parks. They are also the main hub for the Willamette Valley Road Runners. GFR also puts on some great events throughout the year, including their On Your Feet Friday monthly events and their High Street Hustle 8k & 5k in downtown Salem. They continue to be amazing as they support so many local races in the city and county.
Here’s some info on their long running option:
Saturday Long Run: Every Saturday, Gallagher Fitness Resources opens up at 645am (runs starting at 7am) for Team GFR Saturday Mornings. Paces and distances change on a weekly basis, but there are a variety of groups and paces that run anywhere from 4 to 22 miles and 7-12 min/mile paces. This is a great place to meet other runners and make plans to run with them during the week.
Here’s a few other of their weekly runs:
Monday Runday: If you are looking to get in some smaller runs during the week, GFR hosts Monday Runday at 615pm. Runs take place in Riverfront Park and Wallace Marine Park, and with the new “Taco Bridge” open, there will be trips over to Minto Brown Park as well. There are generally 5k and 2-mile loops (though you can easily add miles before or after). Afterwards, runners gather at a Downtown Salem eatery for more social time and fun. This is for runners of all paces. Occasionally, these feature shoe trials or other product samples from vendors.
Wednesday Speed Work: As hard as it is to admit, working on speed work can greatly help you with adding to your distance. Each Wednesday at 530pm, GFR hosts speed workouts, which may include intervals, tempo, hill repeats, or a combination of all or some. Distances will vary each week, but each session will be about 15-35 minutes and runners can participate at their own pace (though it’s generally for those with paces between 5:30 and 9 min/mile).