Meetups celebrate National Running Day

There are over 6,000 running Meetups in the United States today, in Atlanta, and Los Angeles, and thousands of places in between. The Meetups, if you’ll pardon us, run the gamut: folks run barefoot, they run trails, they run to pubs, and they run marathons. Today we’re excited to celebrate the sixth annual National Running Day alongside Meetup’s speediest members – even if we can’t keep up with them. We chatted with two Meetup Organizers about their National Running Day plans, and learned why it’s the perfect day for new runners to get involved.

Florida’s West Volusia Runners Meetup is hosting not one, but two Meetups to celebrate today. Bob, the group’s Co-Organizer, stumbled upon the Meetup in 2010, when he was training for his first marathon. “I was training by myself,” he remembers, “running around my neighborhood, wishing I had a group to run with.” When the group scheduled a marathon training Meetup, Bob leapt at the chance for company. Four years later, Bob hosts Meetups regularly, including this morning’s speed workout, and a five mile loop tonight which will end at a pub for a sweaty, celebratory drink. National Running Day “attracts more people to come out,” says Bob. “It brings out people who are more casual runners,” making it a good day for newer runners to join in. Bob believes the holiday generates excitement for runners new and old. “Anything that gets people up off the couch and gets them to socialize and do something physical is a bonus. We’re excited to do anything to help.”

Loka Murphy is the Co-Organizer of the Seattle Green Lake Running Group. Today he’s kicking off National Running Day by co-hosting an early morning lake run Meetup. Loka started running five and a half years ago. After his first half marathon, he started to worry that without the support of a group, his training might trail off. He teamed up with some friends, and together they started the Meetup. “The next thing we knew,” he recalls, “we had all these people signed up.” Fast forward to today, their Meetup is over 3,500 members strong, and Loka is looking forward to celebrating National Running Day with the community he’s created. Like Bob, Loka thinks the holiday offers an accessible entry point for newer runners. “Hopefully it encourages people who normally wouldn’t come,” he says. Bottom line, says Loka, “anytime we can celebrate running, we think it’s awesome.”

Awesome, indeed! Want to get in on the fun? Plan a run or pledge some miles for charity on National Running Day’s official site, or join a running Meetup near you. Happy National Running Day!

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Katie Hawley

Katie loves storytelling and also happens to be terribly fond of local community. She’s psyched to combine those passions, by sharing and celebrating the stories of the millions of awesome Meetup members.