Last week, one of my coworkers told me that her chiropractor and fellow kickboxing enthusiast was starting up a running club over at the Rock Bottom Brewery here in town. It's structured similar to the Jack Quinn's Running Club downtown and the Irish Snug Running Club up in Denver; a whole bunch of people get together, run a 5K, and come back to enjoy drinks/spaghetti/whatever at the sponsoring bar/restaurant. It's super casual; there is no official start time, no gun time. You just show up when you can, run as soon as you get there, and if you do ten runs, you get a free technical T-shirt. It doesn't matter how fast or slow you do the runs; it's more of a social gathering than a workout.
Last night was the inaugural run of the Rock Bottom Run Club, and there was a good dozen people who showed up despite the rain. The founder is doing a couple of things differently; there is not only a 5K portion but a 3K, and just to get the word out about the run, if we complete five runs, we'll get the free shirt. Right now, we get discounted appetizers and drinks if we do the run--not too bad!
I'm very busy Tuesday nights, so Jack Quinn's has always been out of the question for me. The Irish Snug would be an option if I lived in Denver, or if it was held on a weekend (which kind of defeats the purpose). What I like about this new running club is that it's a ten minute drive from home and it's on a day of the week I can handle.
There are still some kinks to work out. For example, a couple of people showed up with their GPS watches and iPhones to measure out the courses and found that they were both a quarter mile short of a 3K and 5K. The restaurant was packed, so we couldn't find a table right away; during the next couple of weeks we're going to try to reserve some tables just for the running club so that we don't all have to be separated from each other. There was talk of a sign, but we'll see.
Overall, though, the experience was great. I met a few new people, and I talked to others at the bar who seemed interested in doing the run next week. This is definitely something I plan on making part of my weekly schedule.