12 Top Trail-Running Clubs - Page 5
8. Boulder Trail-Running Breakfast Club
Photos submitted by Peter Swank
Now here’s a club every town should have: “A group of trail runners as serious about their trail running as the breakfast that follow,” the Boulder Trail-Running Breakfast Club (which has 650 members, by the way) meets on Saturday mornings, heads out to a local trailhead to run for a few hours among the beauty of Colorado’s high-altitude Front Range, then hits up a local restaurant for breakfast together afterward.
The group ranges from elite athletes who’ve run everything from 14ers to Death Valley’s grueling 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon, but a no-drop rule ensures that everyone is made to feel welcome and a part of the group on Saturdays. Many of the runners who nominated this group credited the diversity of its runners for the friendships that have been formed, the lives changed; Nancy R. Cooper says, “This group has been a blast, patient when my lungs were getting used to the altitude, educational about how to fly over the rocks and boulders running down hill, caring for each other during stream crossings and of course injuries.”
Backyard barbecues, local running movies and other social events round out the fun.
Member Rave: “Unbelievable scenery? Check. Going of the beaten path? Check. Stuffing your face after a 12 mile run? Check. Getting home feeling bruised, beat-up and completely exhausted but somehow having a smile on your face? Well that is what I believe is the true definition of an amazing trail-running group.” –Erich Nell
9. Shenipsit Striders
This club's roots stretch back to 1975, when a group of adventuresome folks made a habit of meeting at Shenipsit State Park in Somers, Connecticut, and running the trails around and over Soapstone Mountain. Now the Shenipsit Striders is an all-inclusive trail-running clan, with members ranging in age from three to 90. The club sponsors a 24K trail run in the spring, a hilly trail race in the summer, a trail marathon in the fall and a moonlight fun run in the winter. Profits from the races are directed back to the trails through local trail organizations and stewardship programs. Their financial assistance helped a local trail series, the Bolton Summer XC series, keep their race fees affordable for all … $2 for kids, $3 for adults.
The Striders has a regularly scheduled weekend run, usually at Soapstone Mountain, and mid-week runs at local trails. The papaya-yellow Strider singlet also shows up all across the northeast—everywhere from the Vermont 100 to winter snowshoe series.
Member Rave: “Our club dates from the mid-70's and has always focused on trails, which is a rarity because all the growth in trail running has been in the past five years. We predate that. We were weakened as our membership aged, but in the past five years, we have reenergized the organization with an influx of members and a family focus.” –Scott Livingston