Of all that makes Run Tampa amazing, the best is the diversity of its members. There are no requirements to participate in our runs except that you be friendly and respectful to the other runners, and that has never been a problem because great, friendly people attract great, friendly people. All experience levels are welcome!
What if I am not a member?
That’s fine. Many people run with us a few times before joining the club, but pretty much everyone does join because it is such a great group.
Is there a fee for the run, itself?
No, but some parks do charge a $2 fee. So, always be prepared for that. The only place where we run and park in a park lot is Flatwoods.
What if I’m not familiar with the trail?
If you are not familiar with the route, we have maps and many members who’ve been there before.
I’m worried that I can’t keep up.
We don’t even try to stay together in a pack. We all leave the trail head at the same time, but within one minute the throng of runners is stringing out as people run at their own comfortable, conversational pace. Do you run 7 minute miles? Great! Do you run 13 minute miles? Great! There is no wrong speed.
What if I only want to do 3 miles?
That is FINE. You go as far as you want; then turn around when you want. No rules. We have people training for marathons and people working up to their first 5k. It’s all good! The people training for marathons remember when they were first starting out, and they will be happily provide encouragement and friendship.
What about restrooms and water?
Before each run, either myself, or Coach Maria or Coach Trixie, will explain the route, where you’ll find restrooms, and availability of water.
Do I need to let anyone know that I’m planning on attending? Nope. Just show up.
Can I bring the kids?
Sure! The only rule is that they understand the rules of the trail, that walkers always stay to the right. Also, there are lots of bikers everywhere we run, and some are going 20 mph. So, it’s essential that they be always aware. You need to keep the kids with you or within your sight at all times. We have many kids run with us. Run Tampa is very family friendly!
Will there be any coaching at the group run?
The coaches are happy to answer basic questions and offer general advice, but this is not a coached run nor a speed workout. However, it is the perfect time to ask the coaches about their coaching programs. They offer several 12-week coaching programs during the year, each one aimed at specific goal races. If you hear the coaches giving specific coaching advice to various runners, that is because these are runners enrolled in their coaching programs and the Saturday long run is part of their prescribed schedule.
What if a group race falls on the day of a group run?
The race serves as the group event for that weekend instead of the group run.
How can I keep up with the schedule for group runs?
Unless we have a group race – which happens once or twice a month – we follow the following schedule:
1st Saturday – Davis Islands
2nd Saturday – Upper Tampa Bay Trail
3rd Saturday – Safety Harbor
4th Saturday – Flatwoods (switched to Clearwater bridges during rainy season, June through August)
I see lots of group photos. What is that all about?
I take a group photo before each run and post it on Facebook and in the following week’s newsletter.
Do I have to wear a club shirt?
Absolutely not, but we love it when you do. It’s helpful when we’re out on the trails. That way even if someone doesn’t know you, they’ll make a point of speaking and introducing themselves to you. It’s a friendly bunch. I think I already mentioned that.
What if I’m late?
This isn’t school. No penalty for being late except that you may miss the photo, and it will mean less time with these amazing peers, but please do still come. We’ll usually have people hanging around the trail head for 2 hours after the run starts.
If I have a particularly long run, can I start early?
Of course, but please be safe. If you want to start early – and many, many people start early during the summer – make sure to plan it ahead and get a group together. It’s not unusual during the summer for us to have groups starting at 5:00 5:30, 6;00, 6:30, and 7:00. Most circle back around to pick up the main group and get in the photo at 7:00.
Are there any rules?
Yes!!!!! Never say, “I ONLY did ____ miles.” Remember, you ran farther than the 99.9% of the population who were sitting on their couch or sleeping in while you were running!