IMAGE VIA SANTA MONICA MOUNTAIN GOATS | FACEBOOK

RUN LA: 17 LOCAL RUN GROUPS TO JOIN IN LOS ANGELES

article cover

Nicholas Manning

Some people run to get in shape. Others pound pavement to push personal limits or to clear their heads. And some people don’t run at all! What do these people have in common? They know running alone can be a serious struggle.

But there’s hope, friends. Try ditching the solo act (it’s scary, we know) and join a running group. There’s so much to gain from finding a running family. So, work up the courage, lace up those shoes, and let’s find the perfect group for you!

DOWNTOWN LA RUNNING GROUP

@dtlarunning | Instagram

For those who love the beauty of the concrete jungle, check out the Downtown LA Running Group. They meet every Tuesday and Thursday night for runs in DTLA,  and every Saturday morning for trail runs. Runners who live, work, and play in DTLA are welcome, as well as those looking to explore a little more of what the city has to offer. Fitt Tip: allow plenty of time to get to these weekly meet-ups if driving in this heavily-trafficked and bare-bones parking part of the city.

A RUNNING EXPERIENCE CLUB

AREC (A Running Experience Club) | Facebook

Since 1982, members of A Running Experience Club have met weekly and fostered the positive power of running within their local Long Beach community. Beyond offering a weekly 3.3- and five-mile Wednesday run that begins and ends at Malarkey’s Grill, AREC provides its members volunteer opportunities through an ongoing relationship with the Jonathan Jaques Pediatric Cancer Center of Miller’s Children Hospital in Long Beach. And if that doesn’t have you feeling revved up, Saturday trail runs are where it’s at (perfect for half- or full-marathon training).

BLACK MEN RUN

@lgrhythm | Instagram

Empowerment means more than just breaking PRs. Meet up for early Saturday morning runs at 4100 La Cienega Blvd. with Los Angeles’ branch of the nationwide Black Men Run group. From seasoned runners to total novices, LA’s BMR group promotes a culture of running/jogging to mentally and physically fit. With an emphasis on setting weekly and monthly goals, BMR encourages you to be an inspiration for other African American men to get out and active.

LA ROAD RUNNERS

@toolownx | Instagram

As the largest training group in Southern California, you’ll no doubt be amongst friends. And these friends are legit; the LA Road Runners are the official training group of the LA Marathon. Meeting every Saturday morning at Short Avenue Elementary School, runners of all experience levels practice by the ocean under the professional supervision of supportive coaches. Runners are placed into one of 20 pace groups led by experienced pacers and train for 26 weeks to knock down that 26.2. Plus, you’ll receive some sweet perks the day of the race. Additionally, they’ve partnered with area running groups (like the Pasadena Pacers) to extend their training even further.

RUN WITH US CLUB PASADENA

Run With Us | Facebook

Run With Us serves Pasadena both as a local running store and a running club. Meeting every Monday at 6pm for Fun Runs, the club leads a four-to-six-mile run or three-mile walk around town. Circling back to the store, these runs end with shoe/product demos, free snacks and raffles, and socializing with the Run With Us Race Team. If you’re busy during the week, catch up with club members for a Sunday morning trail run/walk.

THE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA ULTRARUNNER’S GRAND PRIX SERIES

@delizabethpea | Instagram

Looking to rack up the mileage with the competition and support of experienced ultrarunners? Look no further! The Southern California UltraRunner’s Grand Prix Series encourages runners of all ages and experience levels to participate in as many SoCal ultra races as possible. Although they only meet once a year to celebrate the culmination of the ultra season, members stay connected by duking it out on a leaderboard that tallies points earned from completing a given ultra race. Though, know that the distance of the race factors in when you’re choosing your race calendar. In short (it’s anything but), it’s an ultra club made by ultrarunners for ultrarunners looking to have an ultra good time.

COYOTE RUNNING

Coyote Running Club | Facebook

Want to escape from LA to prepare for a big race? Sign us up! With training programs for half-marathons to ultras, Coyote Running promises to take you off the beaten path of standard training regiments. Literally. Expect Tuesday/Wednesday night runs with hills, tempos, and time trials; Thursday morning “Coyote Call” (runs in the Santa Monica Mountains); and long trail runs on the weekend. Once you join, welcome to pack life — the Coyotes bring you into the sweet spot where fun and performance meet. They call it the “Coyote Bushido” or “Way of the Trail Runner.”

TRAIL RUNNERS CLUB

Trail Runners Club | Facebook

Shins hurting from running the sidewalks? Join the Trail Runners Club every Sunday morning to combat the pains and fatigue of city life while exploring LA’s natural beauty. From the Santa Monica to San Gabriel mountains (and those in between), members promptly meet at 7am for eight to 15 miles on a combination of single-track trails and fire roads. No matter if it’s your first trail or hundredth, you won’t be left in the dust — everyone socializes until the final runner returns, and that sometimes continues on to breakfast.

SANTA MONICA MOUNTAIN GOATS

Santa Monica Mountain Goats | Facebook

Most Angelenos aren’t aware of the mountain goats that roam so close to their homes. However, every Saturday morning at 7:15am, the Santa Monica Mountain Goats hit the trails for some running fun. Founded in 1982, this non-profit trail running group’s purpose is simple — enjoying the beauty of the Santa Monica Mountains. It’s not about distance or competition with the Goats. This group runs/jogs/walks for 60 minutes to enjoy nature and make new friends.

LA FRONTRUNNERS

@erinzhangx | Instagram

As one of over 100 Frontrunner clubs around the world, the LA Frontrunners has succeeded in promoting health and camaraderie among the local LGBT community for over 30 years. This running and walking club club hosts weekly Fun Runs Monday–Thursday at 6:30pm at various locations scattered throughout the city, plus a Saturday 8am run in Griffith Park. And that’s not the only fun to be had. LA Frontrunners hosts an annual Pride Run and offers competitive runners the chance to rack up points in a Grand Prix series over the course of the year.

PASADENA PACERS

Pasadena Pacers | Facebook

The Pasadena Pacers are the oldest running club in the San Gabriel Valley, and it’s easy to see how they’ve lasted all these years. The Pacers provide the community with a ton of FREE training programs. In addition to standard half-marathon to marathon training programs, the club also offers runners a free Pre-Conditioners (welcome back to running) regimen, 10-mile and 20-mile challenges, and ultra, trail, and walking programs. Looking to join? Find the big group wearing red shirts at the southern end of the Rose Bowl every Saturday morning. Fitt Tip: sometimes other people like to use the Bowl (we’re looking at you, Beyoncé), so they move to Garfield Park in South Pasadena.

A SNAIL’S PACE RUNNING CLUB

A Snail's Pace Running Shop | Facebook

A Snail’s Pace Running Club understands that running can be a chore for some, so in addition to their all-levels group, they’ve got some outstanding extras. And you’d be wise to join in on the fun — the Monrovia shop leads amazing events, from their monthly Pub Runs (the first drink is on them!) to scavenger hunts to runs with homemade baked goods along the way.

NEW BASIN BLUES

New Basin Blues

While the San Fernando Valley unfairly receives a bad reputation, the New Basin Blues works on its cred by leading amazing trail runs. Open to all ages and experience levels, runners can join the Blues for free Sunday morning trail runs or Thursday evening tempo runs in the Santa Monica or Santa Susana mountains. An annual membership will cost you a $35 fee (worth it), but ensures you have cold and refueling beverages after weekend runs. Fitt Tip: full-time students can become members of New Basin Blues free of charge.

SOLE RUNNERS

Sole Runners Full and Half Marathon Training Programs | Facebook

Another Long Beach running club, Sole Runners helps its members reach their PR with intensive full- and half-marathon training programs. In addition to a number of groups across Southern California, Sole Runners members learn about marathon basics through an internet-driven virtual coaching system. Not impressed? They’re the only ChiRunning, Yoga, and Holistic Marathon Training Program in the world. You’ll get proper running mechanics, lower risk of injury, and be more in touch with your body-in-motion than ever before.

MY COACH LARRY

@mycoachlarry | Instagram

Leading the charge of My Coach Larry is a coach… named Larry. A former collegiate athlete, Coach Larry boasts an impressive 2:40 marathon time, but he cites his greatest achievement as finishing runner in the annual Stanislaus Beer Mile. It’s his and two others’ (Coach Justin and Coach Anna-Louise) ‘work hard, play hard’ mentalities that make this running club perfect for the social runner. From Tuesday track workouts in Burbank to Sunday long runs in Griffith Park, My Coach Larry brings different types of runners together with the goal of helping all reach their marathon potential and earn that post-marathon beer. Fitt Tip: your first week is free!

L.A. LEGGERS

L.A. LEGGERS | Facebook

One of the larger running groups in Los Angeles, L.A. LEGGERS will have you ready to leg out any length of race. For $85 a season, LA Leggers meets from August until the LA Marathon (generally March, sometimes February) in Santa Monica for weekend runs. After the season concludes, you’ll need to watch for registration (usually in July) so you don’t miss the next season. Divided into pace groups, runners participating in the under-10-mile jaunts begin and conclude their weekend training sessions with educational talks and clinics.

ELECTRIC FLIGHT CREW

Electric Flight Crew | Facebook

Geared exclusively toward young professionals in LA, Electric Flight Crew focuses just as much on having fun as it does on running. This invite-only run club boasts members who are movers and shakers in industries like media, tech, and fitness. Members meet weekly for runs in one of three locations (West Hollywood, Santa Monica/Venice, and South Bay), followed by EFC’s traditional “No Shower Happy Hour” at a local bar. And while the club is invite-only, it’s easy to apply right on their website.