The Running Crews of Edmonton

Running has become an integral part of many Edmontonian’s lives; just look at the sheer number of running-based events every weekend and you would think that every single person in the city runs! The rising popularity of the sport has also led to the development of running groups. Call them tribes, teams, crews, or collectives, these groups have assembled to share their passion for pavement, dirt, and friendship. Think of this as a healthy substitute for sitting around at a restaurant or pub – although I know many of these groups wouldn’t think twice if someone suggested breakfast or beers post run.

I once was a lone wolf. Plunging into trails all by myself. Doing hills till I felt weak in the knees and ready to keel over. But there was something that drew me into running with a tribe: it’s a shared passion for something that allows you to escape for a moment. As runners, we spend so much time alone in our thoughts that sometimes it’s good to share the crazy with other people. Sharing my crazy with other runners has really pushed my own fitness levels beyond what I ever expected!

Running crews are for all types of runners. From the seasoned trail crushing veteran to someone who just bought their first pair of shoes; you can pretty much find a group that suits all types. Having said that, before joining any running club it is best to ensure a few things:

  • Although many groups can adapt to different fitness levels, they may not have running instructors, coaches, or personal trainers. If you are starting off, it is great to consult a professional or an intro-to-running group before jumping into a crew.
  • Ask what types of terrain a group travels. Some run trails, some run pavement, and others do a combination of both.
  • Ask what distance is covered during a run and how long the average runs last.
  • Ask about the average pace of the group and how fast is the quickest runner and how slow is the slowest runner.
  • Ask if the group is training for a particular race.

All of these and more questions are great to ask in order to get an idea of how well the fit is with a particular group but of course nothing beats meeting everyone! Here are a few of my favorite groups that I have met over the past few years or would want to run with because I’ve stalked them on social media and they are really cool.

November Project Canada:

November Project Canada Edmonton

This tribe is the prime definition of a motley crew. There is a great diversity of people of various running and walking levels all out a six in the morning on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for a half hour. Get a workout in on Mondays (location changes so check their Facebook page or Twitter account listed below), stair training happens on Wednesdays starting at the bottom of the Ezio Farone Park stairs, and hills on Friday at the base of the Walterdale Hill by Kinsmen Sports Centre.

Check them out on Facebook and Twitter.

Run Collective:

Run Collective Edmonton

This group is for runners of all types. The Collective meets once a week at lululemon Whyte Ave at six-fifteen pm on Wednesdays. The goal race for most people in the group is Seawheeze in Vancouver but they train throughout the year.  I find that many of the running crews that I hang out with meet to form Run Collective so it’s a nice way of meeting with everyone and heading out for a six to ten kilometer jaunt.

Check them out on Twitter for more information.

Mountain Stride Fitness:

11334488_426293780906825_332106850_nLove trails? Patrick and his running crew are the people to run with. They meet every Thursday at seven pm and run Mill Creek Ravine. Mountain Stride looks like a pretty fun group of runners who love to run and hang out after. I have yet to run with them because of my schedule but it looks like a great time!

Check them out on their Facebook Page for more information on the runs and schedule.

Run All City Crew:

Run All City Crew

I love hearing stories about friends that get together and decide to socialize around something healthy and positive. I have been following Run All City Crew on their Instagram page for a while now and they give me some serious fear of missing out every time I see a post. They meet every Friday at seven pm at a different destination and can accommodate a variety of running speeds, although as a crew they have been getting a bit faster. The group covers about six to ten kilometers during their runs and cover a variety of terrains.

You can check them out on their Facebook page for more updates.

River City Runners:

River City Runners

This crew trains hard. If there is a group that exemplifies all aspects of a team it is RCR. They train together come hell or high water, they hold each other accountable, and they cheer each other on. The result of all of this: they are fast. If there is any one group that inspires me to keep on going with my training and push through mental barriers, it is River City Runners.

Check them out on their website.

The list of running crews above certainly is not the be all end all of lists; there are many other groups out there that you can connect with and head out for a run. Ultimately the key to establishing any healthy lifestyle is to enjoy it on multiple levels. You shouldn’t hate it – all the time – and you should be able to share that passion with people closest to you.

 

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About Chris Tse

I’m a scientist turned owner of Blitz Conditioning, a Fitness Columnist at CBC Radio on Thursdays at 8:20 am, and owner of Tse Social Strategy. Follow me on Twitter or Read my full bio.

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