Going for a run in the 501

I recently received a question from a reader interested in joining a running club and learning what is available in the 501. We are fortunate in Central Arkansas to have numerous running clubs that provide individuals with opportunities to become connected with others who enjoy jogging, running, walking and the tremendous social aspect that is part of being a running club member.

What can clubs provide or offer to members? Several of the benefits include group runs (typically early mornings or early evenings) as well as social gatherings that provide members with a means to develop friendships and learn more about what the club offers.

Participating in group runs is probably the most popular reason why individuals join a running club as it allows runners to find others who run at his/her pace, and it makes time go by a lot quicker compared to running solo. An example of the power of the group run is evident in Conway at 5 a.m. every weekday morning when 25-35 runners meet in the parking lot of the Conway Regional Health and Fitness Center. Several bands of runners disperse at different paces and distances to get a good workout in before the day gets going. One can always find a group to run with in any running club due to the variety of fitness levels within each group.

In addition to providing opportunities to join in on training runs, running clubs also provide opportunities for members to serve as a club officer, volunteer coordinator, communications director, social director, etc.

One of the common myths that seem to permeate the running communities is that running clubs are only for fast runners. Most of the members in running clubs are beginners to moderate level runners who enjoy the social aspect of the club and are not as intense as the racing enthusiasts. The key is finding a few other runners who run at your pace.

If you are thinking about getting connected with a club in your area, please take a look at the following list of clubs and their website addresses. 

Another excellent resource for runners is Arkansasrunner.com. This site is loaded with information that includes a race calendar, race results, course maps, calculators and links to access more information on running. 

Running is an excellent mode of exercise that can be made more enjoyable and rewarding by joining a running club. Take the time to check out a running club that is in your area.

Karl Lenser
Latest posts by Karl Lenser (see all)