Our goal is to provide opportunities for runners of all levels. Please check this page for times and locations of group runs.
We encourage everybody to attend as often as possible. That way you’ll make friends with other people who run at your pace. Since we tend to big crowds at our group runs, you’ll almost always find someone at your pace.
This is what to expect at our group runs:
● We gather into a circle, for announcements and introductions.
● Then, everyone takes off, falling in with other runners going the same pace, making new friends and, magically, the miles just fly by.
If you’re a new runner, we want to make sure you make lots of running friends to provide oodles of support and to make sure you look forward to the next run. Honestly, our goal – and I’m not kidding – is to make group run day your favorite day of the week. So, make sure the group run leader knows you’re new. I, Debbie Voiles, am normally the group run leader, but on occasions when I can’t be there, Loren Reed, my assistant, or other members take the lead.
The time frame for group runs is two hours for Saturday, and an hour for the other four weekly runs. If you are doing more miles than you can complete in that time frame, we encourage you to make arrangements for water and a buddy to run with.
Slower traffic should always stay to the right on a trail. Listen out for cyclists who should call out “On your left,” and be sure to give them room. Also, keep an eye out, because some cyclists may forget to call out.
Do people sometimes start early or late? Yes, many people do, but they make plans for this part of the run on their own. If you start early – and many people do – please make plans with another runner or runners (s) to ensure that you don’t end up running alone. Also, wear a head lamp if you’ll be starting in the dark, and wear reflective clothing. The Facebook group wall is a great place to make plans if you want to start early. Often, many people make plans to meet an hour before the main group; they start early and then return to the starting location to join everyone else and be in the group photo.
Who can join us?
While group runs are club activities, guests are welcome. Often people from out of town join us, but if you’re local and want to run with us a few times before committing to joining, that is perfectly fine.
Am I too slow?
No! No one is too slow. There is no such thing. We love everyone the same, pace is irrelevant. In fact, we need people of all paces. If everyone was ‘fast’ (and of course, everyone defines that differently) then we’d have a hard time attracting new runners, and we are committed to providing a home for beginners, even runners taking their first running steps.
Are these coached runs?
No, but Founder/Director Debbie Voiles, is an RRCA certified coach and has coached for many years. She has two coaching podcasts in iTunes. She is happy to answer your running questions during the group runs or at breakfast or dinner after.
How far do you go?
There is no set distance. It is possible to do a good long run at all of our regular locations, but that doesn’t mean you need to go long. Feel free to do three or four miles, whatever you want to do. Once you start running with the group going your pace, you can find out who is going what distance. Usually, you can find someone going about the same distance. If everyone else is going farther, just turn around when you’ve covered half the distance you need to go. Yes, this could mean that you’ll run part of the run alone. It’s impossible to always have someone at every pace going every conceivable distance, but our groups are large enough that this doesn’t happen much.
Is there a fee?
When we run at county parks, there is a $2 per car park fee. That’s it. Club membership is annual, paid via RunSignUp. It’s $45 for individuals, $75 for couples and $95 for families. Many people run with us a few times and then virtually all join. Club member benefits are many, including a club shirt, but most would join just to support the time it takes to organize and publicize all the activities, maintain the website, produce the quarterly magazine, etc. A one-year club membership works out to about the cost of a single race.
Where do I park?
There are three different multi-story garages at Hyde Park Village, and there is no fee. When we run Upper Tampa Bay Trail, we meet in the lot that is adjacent to the trail and across the trail from Ballyhoo Grill. Maps at the top of the Group Run page. No fee to park there. When we run at Flatwoods, sometimes we park at the Bruce B. Downs entrance, and sometimes we park at the Morris Bridge entrance. Both are county parks that require the $2 fee. The meeting location is always in the group run schedule.
Do I have to be a club member?
The group runs are a club benefit, BUT you are welcome to run with us a few times before committing to joining, and members are encouraged to bring guests. Plus, we love it when out-of-towners join us.
Where are the group runs?
We meet at a different location for every Saturday run. See the Group Run Schedule. Sundays are always at Hyde Park Village, followed by breakfast at Goody Goody. Thursdays are at Lake Rogers Park, and Wednesday evenings leave from Hyde Park Village.
What about water?
Some of the routes already have water kiosks. If we run where there are no water kiosks or fountains, then we put water out.
Do I have to wear a Run Tampa shirt to run with the group or to be in the photo?
No, definitely not, but we love it when you do.
Are strollers allowed?
Will there be a group run on the days when there is a group race?
No official group run, but often someone will organize an unofficial meetup on the Facebook wall.