Some things are better together. Running is definitely one of those things.
Running friends just make it easier to tackle those early morning runs, tough workouts, and unfavorable Pittsburgh weather. Or maybe you are new to the running scene and are just looking to chat, bump elbows, get sweaty, and earn a coffee or pint. Yeah, we’re with ya.
Good news! Pittsburgh has a running club for every type of runner. Whether you are just starting out, looking to crush your next goal, or just to have fun and share the road, check out the following clubs.
Feel the need for speed! The Pharaoh Hounds are some of most competitive runners in Pittsburgh and they can fly. If you are serious about running and are looking for that extra competitive edge, you have to catch this group… if you can. A mere $25 a year gets you access to weekly Tuesday night track workouts, team races, and expert support. They’re legit, and the Pharaoh Hounds are also known for their annual Petite Track Meet every summer. It’s open to all runners who want to come relive their high school track glory days or just try a new race distance.
The North Park Trail Runners believe that roads are meant for cars. If you have an interest in off-roading, pop over to North Park and say hi. They run almost every day of the week, including Tuesday and Friday mornings, and Wednesday and Thursday evenings. New to trails? That’s okay. They offer introduction runs on Sundays during the summer. They even hold potlucks! Really, if you are looking for friends to explore nature with while getting your run on, this free club is the answer. FYI: Starting locations vary, so make sure to check out their Facebook page or website before heading over.
The name is pretty self explanatory, isn’t it? After 31 years, this group is still lacing up their sneakers and touring the city every Tuesday night. Four- to six-mile loops (run or walk) start at 5:45pm and are open to all. So if you are looking for an excuse to hit the local happy hour or avoid Pittsburgh rush hour traffic, People who Meet Downtown just might be your new running family. Oh, and guess what? It’s free! Unless you stay to eat of course, but maybe your new friend will pick up the tab.
SCRR is easily the biggest running club in the Burgh. And they have lots of new running friends for you to meet — a cast of all types of runners including, run/walkers, Couch to 5k, and everyday runners to your local speedsters. Okay, yes membership will cost you $50 a year, but that includes: access to three weekly runs (four during training season), race discounts and merchandise perks, access to RRCA-certified coaches, and a member shirt. Runs are held at various locations Tuesday (track) and Thursday (satellite runs) nights, in addition to Saturday mornings.
Do you want to run and learn about the city? The Flyers might be your run club of choice then! Their runs offer unique routes, featuring cemeteries around Halloween, the mansion tour of Shadyside, and the ever-famous Holiday Lights Run. They also rotate hill runs and beer runs throughout the year, while track work is Wednesday nights at Jefferson Middle School. There is a slight fee, but so, so worth it; membership is $40 a year and includes a store discount, access to in-store events and clinics, singlet, and more!
So you might recognize PSL from their famous kickball league. But they have a running club too, and it just happens to be the only free league in their arsenal. PSL meets every Thursday at 6:15pm. Runs range from three to six miles and are updated on the website each week. Most importantly, they are always scoping out new restaurants and bars. After all, the main goal of PSL is to unite Pittsburghers with common interests. Be careful with this group though — you just might get recruited for kickball.
The Pittsburgh Frontrunners proudly include members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Founded in 1989, this local group is an affiliate to the International Front Runners. Members ($20/year) and nonmembers are encouraged to participate in the free weekly runs that usually loop about four miles.. Starting at the entrance to Schenley Park by the intersection of Schenley Drive and Frew Street, runners gather Tuesday and Thursdays at 7:10pm (check in is at 7:00pm), while Saturday morning runs begin at 9:10am And cross your fingers for a post-run brunch!
Oh, did you think you were reading about running clubs? The Hash House Harriers are known as the “drinking club with a running problem,” so it’s best you bring ID to run. Pittsburgh can’t take the credit for starting this international club, but there are plenty of unique hashes on road and trails. If you’re new: The hare marks the three- or four-mile course for each run leading the hashers to beer stops (and snacks). Membership will run you $15 a year and require an open mind, sense of adventure, love of running, and a continuous thirst.
Black Girls RUN! is a national, community-oriented club with some roots in Pittsburgh. The mission is to unite women (especially, but not limited to African Americans) to battle obesity through exercise. It’s free to join and has a great online presence to encourage and chat with members everywhere. Really,if you’ve ever wanted a pen pal, here’s an easy way to have 700,000 of them. And if you want to link up with the group in the Burgh, you best be an early riser. Wednesday and Saturday runs can start as early as 5am. Too early? The Second Chance Sunday runs begin at 4pm.
Pro Bike+Run running group is cool and all, but you’re going to wanna fall in with some of the awesome social runs. Starting from their Squirrel Hill spot, they’re a snap for local college students. And you can get your speed fix Monday nights at the Schenley Oval; workouts are provided by RRCA-certified coaches. But if you are looking for something a little more relaxed, the Wednesday runs might be more up your alley. Meet at the store for a 3-5 mile loop at 6:30pm. If you’re lucky, it just might a Brooks Happy Hour night! Fitt tip: Watch out for surprise sales on Wednesday runs!
This group is special. No, really, it is. PUMPed to Run is only in its second year and continues to take off. Their purpose is to service the residents of local homeless shelters. How do you fit in? PUMPed to Run is always looking for volunteers to build a team mentality to help set physical running goals, promote confidence, and self-sufficiency for the local residents. Come on — make a difference in your life and theirs (FYI: an application is required). Not sure this is the right fit for you, but still want to help out? Well, PUMPed to Run accepts donations of new or lightly-used running gear.
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