by Susan Post
Whether it is to run a mile or train for a marathon, there are running clubs for any type of runner throughout Central Ohio. The area is home to various stores that take running seriously; they can provide the perfect shoe, a coach or mentor, or motivate a group of fellow runners. Several neighborhoods have their own groups of residents that put in the road miles, combining exercise with a great way to meet neighbors and take in new parts of the city.
Columbus Running Company
A club for anyone and everyone, Columbus Running Company (CRC) hosts a number of runs throughout the week. Saturday morning runs start at their four CRC locations – Short North, Dublin, Pickerington and Westerville – and draws the biggest crowd with participants of all paces.
For the new runner, there are beginner clinics. For the seasoned, elite athletes, there are sponsorship opportunities. CRC also hosts a youth club for elementary school runners.
CRC hosts various other weekday runs across the city, open to runners of all paces, with some options tailored to more specific groups.
To see the full calendar, sign up at ColumbusRunningClub.Grou.Ps.
Bi-annual programs prep members of the FrontRunner club for half to full marathons. The Winter/Spring session gears around the Capital City Half Marathon and other spring races, with the Summer/Fall session training runners for the Columbus Marathon and Half Marathon. With paces from 8:00 to 13:00 minutes per mile, a run/walk group and a walking group, there is an opportunity for anybody to put in the miles. The group mainly uses the Olentangy trail, with other runs taking off across the city.
For more information, visit FrontRunnerColumbus.com/FR-Training-Group.
Fleet Feet Sports
Fleet Feet provides groups, coaches and mentors to help runners reach their fitness goals.
One of their more popular programs, Marathoner In Training (MIT), is offered in two sessions each year and provides structured, progressive schedules customized for the half or full marathoner. MIT offers pace groups every 15 to 30 seconds starting at a 7:30min/mile all the way to a 13 min/mile, with two run/walk groups and a walking only group. MIT meets Saturday mornings, with a speed workout on Wednesday.
For the non-marathoner, the No Boundaries group is a beginner runner/walker program that meets twice a week.
For more information, visit TrainWithFleetFeet.com.
For the urban Franklin County runner, the Short North neighborhood in Columbus (Meetup.com/Short-North-Running-Club) and the city of Grandview (Meetup.com/Grandview-Running-Club) each host weekly three-to-five mile runs that give athletes a chance to check out some local Columbus sights.
For runners who require a more structured training opportunity, groups like Run Fit (RunFitColumbus.com) and Columbus Eastside Running Club (ColumbusEastSideRunningClub.com) provide seasonal membership options to train for half and full marathons. Runners can participate in either the Summer/Fall or Winter/Spring session.
Local Chapters of National Nonprofits
The Franklin County chapter of Girls on the Run (GirlsOnTheRunFranklinCounty.org) trains third through eighth grade girls to run a 5K (3.1 miles). The Central Ohio chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s “Team in Training” program (TeamInTraining.org/COH) trains individuals and teams, either online or hands-on, to complete a half or full marathon.