A little peer pressure can be a good thing when it comes to running and fitness. Rather than braving the trails alone, you can find plenty of sweat-filled comradery and community in Colorado Springs thanks to an abundance of running clubs.
Take Jack Quinn’s, a running club that meets year-around on Tuesday afternoons. The 5K course starts downtown and winds scenically through Monument Valley Park and past Colorado College, climbs up Uintah Street, and heads back past the tree-lined Victorians of Cascade Avenue and bustling storefronts of Tejon Street. Waiting at the end is a nice, cold pint of beer at Jack Quinn’s—or a warm hot toddy, depending on the temperature Colorado happened to go with those past 30 minutes.
But there’s a wide variety of clubs all over Colorado Springs. Here are eight options to explore:
1. Jack Quinn’s Running Club
The Scene: The Jack Quinn’s Running Club is a downtown community of walkers, joggers and runners that always welcome new members. All ages and abilities are welcome, with the club motto “To motivate and inspire runners of all ages and abilities to get up, get out and get active in your personal health and in our community.”
The Route: A 5K walk, jog or run thru downtown. Sign in, start and end at Jack Quinn Irish Alehouse and Pub (21 S. Tejon St).
The Time: Tuesdays at 5:15 p.m., year-round.
The Perks: After your run, enjoy discounted food, $4 appetizers and $2.50 pints of Odell brews. After 10 runs, you receive a Jack Quinn’s Running Club tech shirt. After 50 runs, you can purchase a celebratory shirt for $20. If you make it to 100, you can join the coveted Century Club and purchase the Jack Quinn’s Running Club long-sleeve tech shirt for $45. After 200, well, you join the elite Double Century Club. If you have to ask about the perks for this, you haven’t run enough yet.
2. University Village Running Club
The Scene: University Village is organized to allow runners, joggers and walkers of all ability levels to choose their intensity level: “from beer aficionados and multitasking moms to hardcore competitors or first-time runners …”
The Route: Starting at the University Village Shopping Center, you choose your direction on the Pikes Peak Greenway Trail for an out and back: south for up to 6 miles roundtrip, or north for up to 4 miles roundtrip. Check in at The Colorado Running Company, (5262 N. Nevada Ave., Suite 140).
The Time: Mondays at 6 p.m., year-round
The Perks: A free running club T-shirt on your 10th run. You can also enjoy discounts at participating stores in the shopping center.
3. Muldooniacs Running Club
The Scene: An east-side team-driven running club, the Muldooniacs are open to runners of all ages and abilities, including avid runners, those who haven’t run since P.E. class, runners looking to gain speed or lose some weight, or those looking for a good excuse to wash down nachos and a margarita.
The Route: Your choice of a 5K or 10K on the Homestead Trail, starting at Jose Muldoon’s East (5710 South Carefree Circle). Both routes are a mixture of packed dirt trail, paved trail and road running.
The Time: Wednesdays at 6-6:30 p.m., year-round.
The Perks: A free shirt after 12 runs, and a free beverage after each run.
4. Gallop in the Garden
The Scene: Open to runners, walkers, friends, dogs and babies! There’s even a stroller route available. Light running atmosphere with a gorgeous scenic backdrop.
The Route: Choose from three different routes for your 5K. Meet in the lower lobby of the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center (1805 N. 30th St.).
The Time: Thursdays 5–7 p.m.
The Perks: T-shirts are available after 10 runs for $10. After exploring five routes, get a free token for Fossil Brewery Beer or ginger ale for the kids.
5. Full Moon Run
The Scene: A social group run by the light of the full moon, open to walkers and runners of all abilities followed by a BYOAnything tailgate gathering. Groups are formed to run various distances between 2 and 5 miles.
The Route: Start the one-hour run at Red Rock Canyon Open Space or Beckers Lane and El Paso Avenue in Manitou Springs. A headlamp or flashlight are recommended.
The Time: Monthly during the full moon, starting at 7 p.m.
The Perks: Did we mention moonlight and tailgating.
6. Attack Pack
The Scene: An hour run with a group pace around 8- to 10-minute miles. In April the group becomes the middle of the pack group for Garden of the Gods training runs. After the GOG race, the group rotates monthly to different parks and locations. All runners welcome.
The Route: One hour trail runs at various locations
The Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 a.m.
The Perks: A shirt—when the group deems you ready.
7. Pikes Peak Road Runners Sunrise Striders
The Scene: Structured mostly-trail group tempo runs on Tuesdays and interval workouts on Thursdays. The workouts are designed for runners wanting to train better and get faster. The group partners with the PPRR Garden of the Gods and Summer Roundup training runs from April to July.
The Route: One-hour runs around the city at locations that vary by season.
The Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 a.m.
The Perks: Challenging routes with a great community.
8. Sunday Pikes Peak Brewing 5Ks & IPAs
The Scene: For the beer-drinking fun runner in you. Run a 5Ks; then tip back beers with the group at Pikes Peak Brewing.
The Route: 5K out and back from the brewery on the Santa Fe Trail. You can run farther if you’re in the mood.
The Time: Sundays at 4 p.m. at Pikes Peak Brewing (1756 Lake Woodmoor Dr., Monument)
The Perks: Runners get a $1 discount off a beer.
But Wait! There’s More
From the Mountain Post and Widefield to Palmer Lake, there are many more group runs and running clubs all around Colorado Springs. Check out this list on the Pikes Peak Road Runners website.
—by Anthony Hyatt