From our new VP, Mike Cannon:

My experience with running groups made me think there are two kinds of running clubs: the totally serious kind and the totally social kind.  But then I found the RidgeRunners.

The first kind is good if you are training hard and run “their” pace and “their” types of races.  If you want to take your running to the next level and can find a group with your same goals, they are very beneficial.  They tend to be pretty inflexible, almost snobbish.  If you can’t keep up, don’t show up.

The second kind is good if you need to socialize and happen to match their demographics.  They may be of a similar age, occupation, or marital status.  They also tend to run at a similar pace, but mostly so they can talk.  Their running is pretty static, but the social aspect keeps it from getting monotonous.   If you don’t want to talk about what they all talk about, don’t show up.

But the RidgeRunners are different, in a good way.  We have runners of all ages and abilities.  We are the most diverse group with which I have run.  On a typical run, we have runners with over 50 years of difference in age.  We have runners who will run a 6-minute pace and a 14-minute pace and everything in between.  We have runners who have run over 100 marathons and others who have never run a race of any distance.  Some prefer trails and others roads.  We have walkers and strollers and dogs (on leashes.)  Some of us train hard (sometimes) and all of us socialize (a lot of the time.)

It is easy to find somebody to push you or pace you.  It is easy to find others to race with or race against.  It is easy to find somebody a lot like you in pace, in interests, or in experience.  If you’re having an off day or recovering from an injury or long run, it’s easy to find somebody to run slow or walk with you.

It doesn’t matter how fast or far you run (or walk,) how old you are, whether or not you like to chat, or what your goals are, if you like to run you’ll fit right in.