Anyone that has taken up running knows that the hardest part is getting out the front door. When you make it past that step any runner could tell you, misery loves company. Having someone else counting on you to show up and share the load not only helps pass time faster, but has multiple training benefits as well. Running partners help to regulate one another’s pace by keeping it social and relaxed. Working hard and having someone to push you can increase the quality of workouts but partners are also great for slowing things down and keeping it relaxed.
The City of Windsor has a number of social running clubs that meet multiple times a week. Whether you are looking to put in some serious mileage, meet new friends and run socially, or train for your first or fastest race, there are options for runners of every level.
The Running Factory offers a “Social Run” every Saturday morning at 8am, and the last Wednesday of each month at 6pm, both groups meet at the store (5480 Wyandotte St. E.). Both runs are open to anyone who wants to come out and the distance is completely up to you. Each week varies with the group so mileage ranges from 5 – 10 miles (on average). The Wednesday meetings are concluded with a visit to the Thompson House (5370 Wyandotte St. E) for food and beverages. The Running Factory also offers a 9-week, beginner “Learn to Run” clinic, as well as an 18-week Half/ Full Marathon training clinic, for more information please see our “clinics” page.
The Malden Park Runners are a group based out of the West end of the city that meet Saturday mornings at 9am and Tuesday nights at 6pm for their social runs. The group meets at the Matchette Rd. parking lot/ entrance and entertains a very wide array of ability and ages making it a great place for a beginner or more experienced runner. Members of the group often travels together to races and events in both Canada and the United States. The group also holds a number of races in the park itself. Malden Park has a number of trails and a great mix of surfaces. There are a number of cement trails that span the perimeter of the park as well as cut through the center with hilly sections and flats. The same is true of off-road terrain as well. Malden Park contains a wide variety more technical, dirt, bike trails, flat, and hilly, grass trails and wood-chip trails. It’s a great place to run socially, or train hard. The Malden Park runners are a welcoming group that enjoys working hard, and having fun. The Saturday morning runs are concluded with the option of breakfast, and Tuesday night runs have the option of barbeques. For more information, you can find the Malden Park runners on Facebook.
The Blue Heron Blazers are another social group that is based out of the East end of the city that meets Monday and Wednesday evenings at 6pm for “Monday night hills” and “Wednesday track nights”. The group meets at Blue Heron Park at Little River Blvd. And Banwell Rd, there is parking across the street from the park on Little River Blvd. The group is composed of a wide variety of ages and ability levels making it a good fit for runners of every level. The structured workouts are to be done at your own pace in a supportive environment making it welcoming to everyone. The park is very picturesque, featuring a sizable pond, bridge, hills, and trails. It is a great location for easy running and hard training. Though, not as large as Malden, Blue Heron Park is a great place for runners of every caliber to train or simply run socially. The group is very supportive and welcoming and also hosts barbeques after certain runs. The group also has team attire available for purchase as well as a race held at the park called the “Blue Heron Blitz” (August 2nd). More information can be found on Facebook.
Running is a great sport, not only for its health benefits, but its social aspect as well. Having running partners makes it that much easier to get out the front door. Groups offer structure and motivation that not everyone needs, but always helps. Every group is warm, welcoming, supportive, and motivational so we suggest showing up and trying it out for yourself!