If you’re thinking about starting an outdoor fitness regimen this spring, running almost certainly makes the list. While you can always run on your own, there are significant benefits to being a member of a running club. Running clubs aren’t just for athletes training for marathons, these clubs attract people of all ages and fitness levels who enjoy the perks and support they receive from being club members. If you’re ready to get spring off to a running start, then the best running clubs in DFW will have you sprinting into action in no time.
Park Cities Track & Cross Country Youth Running Club
3419 Westminster, Suite 194
University Park, TX 75205
Price: $300 season membership
Park Cities XC provides top-of-the-line training with coach Aurek Brillowski, who inspires kids to reach their fullest potential in the sport. For youth, ages third grade to college, the club focuses on building speed and distance. The training also incorporates academic concepts, ranging from core running principals to physiology and anatomy. Parents are invited to participate with their kids during workouts and in some races. Or there is a parents-only practice group that meets after youth practice sessions. Practices are held three to four days a week at locations with varying terrain, such as the Katy Trail, SMU and White Rock Lake. The group participates in at least one formal race every month, several fun runs and seasonal competitions including the AAU Cross Country National and the USATF Cross Country Junior Olympics.
Dallas Running Club
1130 Beachview St.
Dallas, TX 75218
Price: $25 yearly individual membership/$40 family/ $15 student/$45 training program
Whether you’re a runner or a walker, ages 10 to 80, joining up with the DRC is a great way to stay current on everything going on with the local race scene. Members have access to eight free charity race events yearly and receive discounted entry into several other signature races. The club’s training director and team of RRCA-certified coaches help members reach their running distance goals by offering a 16-week training program, as well as informal social and organized runs on a weekly basis. Some of the DRC events include the White Rock-n-Roll five- and 10-mile race and the MWH Trinity River Levee Run. Additionally, members receive discounts from local athletic stores and enjoy a variety of social events, including a summer picnic, a free breakfast race and December holiday party.
Plano Pacers Running Club
P.O. Box 867136
Plano, TX 75086
Price: $25 yearly individual membership/$35 family/$10 student
Open to both competitive and recreational runners of all ages and ability levels, the Plano Pacers is a great group for people who like to meet up with others who share their passion for running. While the club doesn’t offer coaches or training programs, it does offer runners a chance to participate in two separate free race events held monthly, including a 5K prediction run and a Saturday 1K to 15K race at Bob Woodruff Park. Additionally, there is a special 1K Jr. Sprint race, for kids 12 and younger, following the Saturday race. Members also participate together in other informal running groups around the area that are listed on the club’s website. All of the club’s races include food and beverages, and a special awards ceremony after each race.
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The Arlington Striders provide one of the easiest membership options for people ages 18 to 74. Not only are memberships free, but all you have to do to join is show up and run. Members receive plenty of perks, including discounts from athletic stores, sponsor deals, club socials and weekly group runs that vary from easy to long distance. The club is sponsored by area businesses and meets mostly in Arlington during the week, but it also meets at DFW locations on weekends. The Striders’ certified coaches offer a free, eight-week walkers to runners fitness program twice a year. The training helps walkers become runners and runners go longer distances. Besides participating in major events like the Dallas Marathon, the club hosts fun runs in beautiful places including the Botanical Gardens, Trinity Trails and through Interlochen during the holiday season.
Cox Running Club
5017 Rancho Verde Parkway
Crowley, TX 76036
Price: $25 yearly individual membership/$30 family
Join up with the newest running club in the metroplex that launched at the 2012 Holiday Series 5000 Thanksgiving marathon, and you’ll be in good company. People of all ages and abilities are welcome. “We want to be a club for every runner,” says board member Elizabeth Mendiola. The bi-monthly training runs include speed and hill work at TCU and are organized by the club’s board members, including president and coach, Ricky Cox, a three-time winner of the Cowtown Marathon. Membership benefits include club training runs, race-entry discounts, local running-store discounts, monthly socials and quarterly fun runs.
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Ilene Jacobs is a freelance writer living in Dallas, Texas. Ilene enjoys writing about a variety of topics, ranging from food, fitness and travel, to kids, pets and senior care. You can find some of her work at Examiner.com.