We are lucky in Oregon, where there are many local group runs put on by people who just want to go to group runs. They spend their personal time organizing routes, managing social media for their runs, and coordinating post-run coffee chats. But as a benefit, they get to meet some really cool people who are also crazy about running. Bethany Runners Unite is one of these groups where you can go to run and meet some other great folks!
Bethany is an area of Northwest Portland near Tanasbourne, but on the north side of Highway 26. Some of my favorite places up there include Bliss Cupcakes, Munchkinland, and the barn at PCC’s Rock Creek Campus … not to mention Pirate Park in the summer. There are so many great things to do in that area with your kiddos, and not surprisingly, there are also some great paths and neighborhoods to run.
Bethany Runners Unite (BRU) grew from just a few people, including Jamie Williams and Paul Enriquez, that wanted to meet up on weekends for long runs. They originally ran on Sundays, but many runners suggested that they switch to Saturdays, and now that’s what they do! Practically every Saturday, they meet at Starbucks at 4720 NW Bethany Blvd at 8a for a run of about 10 miles. I was able to join them on Saturday, December 30, but haven’t been able to get back up there (races, mainly) and won’t until probably mid-March. But YOU should join them and meet some of their great runners like Claudia, Laura, Gokhan, John, Chandra, and the Lopez family. They are all such wonderful people.
When I ran with them, a great number of runners did either 6 or 8 miles, with about six of us running 10. We ran on NW Bethany towards 26, then hopped on a path from NW Bronson Road after NW 163rd, and then went north past West Union to Bethany Meadows Park. We then ran an out-and-back on the NW Rock Creek Powerline Trail to the Rock Creek Powerline Soccer Fields before returning to the store. It was quite a lovely run and the paces ranged from about a 10:30 mile to about a 9:15 mile, but the group paused a few times where certain people wanted to head back so as to avoid going over their desired mileage. Then, most people hung around and chatted over coffee and pastries.
If you’re interested in joining BRU for a Saturday morning run, visit their facebook page here and check things out – and then show up at Starbucks! They meet up outside – they’ll be the crew wearing running gear and carrying handheld water bottles. When I arrived, there was no one there that I knew, but I was quickly welcomed by someone and felt right at home. Have fun!