Running is a big deal for the Canadians who love it. The joy of feet on pavement to the pleasure of time spent outdoors –  over a million Canadians are dedicated runners according to iRun Magazine - and many more are ready to join Canada's energetic running community.

At GMS, we're eager to support runners as they make strides toward their goals — and we're the proud title sponsor of the GMS Queen City Marathon, a beloved Regina event. Completing this race can be a dream come true, but first, runners must put in the work: long hours of physical and mental training.

The good news? There's no need to do it alone! Running clubs provide guidance, support, and encouragement every step of the way.

What Is a Running Club?

Before you join, you'll want to understand what exactly a running club is. There is no single answer, as running clubs take many forms; from casual groups of friends who run to visit, to runners joining for accountability, to nationwide organizations who advocate for runners and their interests.

There are a few basic things, however, that all running clubs share: a love of physical activity and a desire to participate alongside people who share these interests.

But each running club shares a passion for running, and you’ll be sure to find running companions who will give you the much-needed support and sense of community that will make training easier.

4 Reasons to Join a Running Club

Running doesn’t need to be a solo activity. Running clubs offer a mix of structure and support, and the shared purpose of belonging to a team many find appealing. Other reasons for finding a running club include:

  • Accountability. From couch-to-5k to marathoners and even ultra-marathoners, many runners have big ambitions but struggle to stick with training plans. This is where scheduled meetups can make all the difference. When fellow runners expect you to show up, the couch is less compelling. The other members are your biggest cheerleaders, so instead of dreading those long miles — you'll look forward to them!
  • Safety. Worried about running on your own? A running buddy (or several) offers safety in numbers. Your companions likely also know the safest routes, so you'll avoid icy surfaces, distracted drivers, and other potential hazards. Also important is safe training, which running clubs encourage. Yes, members will push you, but they will also remind you to avoid injury.
  • Insider Knowledge. Speaking of well-informed can count on your running club to give you all the details you crave with insights into exciting races, effective training plans, the most stylish runners, and so much more. There is a lot to learn and yes, it can be intimidating when you're getting started. No worries though – friendly club members will be happy to break down, in a way that's easy to understand.
  • Community. Level up your social life with a close-knit group of runners. Chatting makes time fly when you're pounding the pavement, and, more importantly, can lead to lifelong friendships. Even though runners race individually, clubs offer the benefits of belonging to a team, and members are always willing to provide support and sometimes, a sweaty hug!). The bonds forged during those long miles? Unbreakable.

How to Find a Running Club

You love the idea of joining a running club, and now, you want to find the right group for you. These clubs can be wonderfully welcoming, but some target specific types of members. Keep these factors in mind as you do your research:

  • Location. Are you a committed trail runner or do you prefer to hit the road? How much of a commute can you handle? Pay attention to where running clubs meet and what routes they follow.
  • Types of runners. There is truly a club for everyone in the running community. Some focus on distance training — perfect for major races like Regina's GMS Queen City Marathon. Some cater to students, moms, seniors – even dog lovers. Make sure your goals align with those of the group, and pay attention to vibe when you check it out
  • Cost. Some clubs are free, but many call for some form of membership dues. Monthly or yearly fees to cover administrative essentials or for personalized feedback from dedicated running coaches vary, so be sure to check into any pricing. Think carefully about your budget but remember: a great running club can be an amazing investment in your health and well-being.

Joining a running club can change your life. Don't miss this opportunity to build powerful friendships and crush your running goals, one step at a time. And remember, if you are in the Regina area and looking to run your first half or full marathon, find more information and sign up on the GMS Queen City Marathon website!