Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, February 28, 2016
Running Clubs of Morris County
The very best thing that a new runner can do to enhance their running experience is to join a running club. Clubs provide running pals, encouragement, motivation and camaraderie. Here in Morris County there are several running clubs.
The Do Run Running Club draws members from throughout the area and holds a group run on Saturdays at Freedom Park in Randolph. When the Randolph Trails are open the runs utilize them. In the winter they stick to the roads in the area.
A visit to the clubs Facebook page tells you that “While we hope to be competitive, our main objective is to have fun.”
The club appears to have accomplished both with their teams in the USATF New Jersey grand prix placing well in several divisions. Not all their members are speedsters, however and those who take more than ten minutes to complete a mile quite welcome.
The Garmin Runners have to be counted as the swiftest club in the area. Their open teams placed second in that division in both the men and women’s division of the grand prix. Their masters teams have been even more successful with wins or second place in the W40 and W50 divisions.
The club is only a few years old but many of the runners were in now discontinued clubs, like the Sneaker Factory club. Group runs are held throughout the week along with a workout on Tuesday evenings in Morristown.
The Randolph based Geezers usually run a variety of courses on Saturday and Sunday mornings, some on roads and some on the Randolph Trails or the Black River, West Morris Greenway trail, and several others. Track workouts are scheduled for Wednesday evenings.
The Geezers began as a masters men club with an M50 and an M60 team. Recently they have been joined by a small group of women, dubbed the Gazelles. While the Geezers are often mid to back of the pack in races, they are most certainly competitive and continue to add to their numbers.
The Highlands Hashers is a small but very active running club open to runners of all ages and abilities. In keeping with its name, the group has a monthly Hash run and special club runs and social events. Some of their members also compete at local races and some are marathoners and ultra marathoners.
The Morris County Striders is one of the oldest active club in the county. The club has a group run every Wednesday evening at Picatinny Arsenal or on the Boulevard in Mountain Lakes. On Sundays they run from Green Pond Road in Rockaway into Denville and on Saturdays an impromptu run on the Columbia Trails might suddenly be posted online
The club hosts the Roxbury Community Benefit 5K in June and a 5K cross country summer series at Johanson Field in Boonton.
The Rose City Runners can challenge the Striders to the title of oldest. Both clubs were formed at the start of the running boom and Rose City can document 1979 as their birth year. Rose City has a group run in Loantaka Park every Saturday followed by a tail gate repast fueled by the runners.
Rose City hosts the highly regarded Giralda Farms races in November featuring a 5K and 10K with a simultaneous start at noon. The club is also involved with the Hounds and Harriers race for dogs and their owners.
Although the Amazing Feet Running Club does not have competitive teams they are far from inactive. Members are from the south east corner of Morris, into Union and Somerset counties. Group runs are held throughout the week and are posted on their website. Many of the “feet” are ultra runners and triathletes. In 2011 the club assumed the hosting of the Great Swamp Devil races and assist at other races.
It is easy to find information about the clubs by going first to the USATF NJ website to look for the club listing. Many of the clubs have Facebook pages, and some have their own websites. Search and join. Membership is not mandatory to run with a group, and here’s a little secret, some people belong to more than one club.
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at www.usatfnj.org or at www.raceforum.com for running and tri and biathlon events.
Contact Madeline Bost at firstname.lastname@example.org.