How to Find a Running Group

Moving to a new area is tough. (Ok, that’s an understatement, but all the words I can think of for it would rocket this blog into the PG-13 stratosphere.) It’s lonely, especially if you’re a stay-at-home mom or you work from home. And you’re never sure where to run, if it’s safe, or what. I set out to find a running group shortly after we landed.

New in town or new to running and want to find buddies? Here's how to find a running group (mostly) using Google-fu.

After some searching, I went from having just a few running buddies (and as far as I could find, zero running groups) to having two running clubs’ worth of people to run with, and it is amazing. Here’s how to find a running group quickly:

  • I used Google. Seriously, Google: my new town’s name + “running club” resulted in finding a group of people immediately with regularly scheduled runs. The Bay Area Running Club has regularly scheduled social runs and track runs.
  • I finally found a use for Facebook beyond cat pictures. New town’s name + running, again, and I immediately found a women’s running group. Actually, it’s a running group of mostly moms, so we all can talk about the struggle. It’s real. And no one will blink twice at my stretch marks, since if it’s above 80 degrees, I’m not wearing a shirt.
The women’s running group that I found, Moms Run This Town, has chapters across the country. It’s totally free, which is a good thing for cash-strapped ladies who just sunk all their money into a moving truck. If you’re looking to find a running group in your city that’s all women, there’s bound to be a chapter nearby. 

Note: I left my local Moms Run This Town group after it devolved from a group of runners who happened to be moms to a group of wine-drinking moms who occasionally ran. As with many of the women’s groups I’ve been involved with, as it grew, it got very clique-y. I don’t have the time or the energy for that kind of drama, and I’d rather run alone, not get bad advice, and not feel like I’m being judged for being me.

You can also check your local specialty running store (Google town + “running store”). With any luck, they’ll have brochures and notices about group runs and running groups.

There’s another way to look for a running group: I’m not quite as excited about Meetup because the social network charges people to set up meetups, so the costs will be passed on to you. Plus, a lot of the groups seem inactive, but it’s worth a shot in a pinch.
What did we ever do before the Internet, am I right?