What is a running club? Moreover, what is the goal of a running club? For 3 years now, the LRC has set out to redefine what one is and what it can do. At our core, we provide runners with the means to achieve their goals by hosting 2-3 weekly group runs year-round, offering tempo, speed, and hill workouts when our custom training plans call for them. A mix of those services are going to be available in any running club. Consistency works.
But the manner in which we do these things is unorthodox.
Many clubs are tethered to the notion that their routes and activities must be sanctioned by governing bodies like Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) or their own superfluous board of directors. We set our own rules. We like to explore – we’ve run hundreds of different route maps from various locations in these 3 years. Variety is a good thing.
We offer half marathon/marathon training in the spring and fall but training for one of those races is not a requirement to come out and run. If you like to run 3 miles with a group of friends (or strangers), you can do that here. We do not use pace groups because of the cliquey environment they foster. We run roads. We run trails. Acceptance of all types of runners is paramount. We recognize that if you’re out there moving, you’re a runner.
Oh, and the fun runs we have… Have you been part of a running club that toured surrounding towns to explore their running trails and breweries and commemorated it with tour lanyards and shirts? Have you ever tried a Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure-themed scavenger run? What about a festive holiday run like our Candy Cane Fun Run or Halloween run or Festivus run, or the Stop-LRC Prefontaine Fun Run (mustaches provided if you can’t grow one), or our Poker Run 10K, or an elimination run like Run of the Dead, or… Well, you get the point. Ingenuity sets us apart.
Social media is essential nowadays and we are voracious. We use art to express who we are; it helps that our graphic designer is a runner. We can be serious runners without taking ourselves too seriously. Are we a Church or Cult? Neither, but I suppose we have elements of both; what started out as a joke has come to define us. Our creativity reigns supreme.
Where LRC really differs is with its community involvement. After every run we rendezvous at a different local business, in part to fraternize and in part to support them. We want to help you discover a new date night restaurant, great local breweries, a place to buy your homebrew supplies, or the best independent coffee shops. Small Business Saturday? Try small business everyday.
We strive to inspire you to support those within our community that need our help. Through running events, in just this past year we assisted some great organizations that are hyperlocal: Lambs Farm, Lake County Haven, Placing Paws, Libertyville Food Pantry, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), to name just a few. Also, in lieu of requiring $25 – $50 to “join” a running club, we thought rewarding you with a LRC Righteous long-sleeve running shirt for donating $25+ to your favorite charity on #givingtuesday was a better use of everyone’s funds. Now that’s righteous! For the LRC’s own expenses (funding all this great programming), we only accept donations of whatever amount you think being a member is worth and you can afford.
LRC’s service and social events aide in making better runners, and just as importantly, citizens of our community. You would be hard-pressed to find any LRC members that haven’t achieved a personal best in the past 3 years. The friendships forged are beautiful. The support network is incredible. Your community advocacy is unparalleled. So congratulations everyone, you are part of the most righteous running club in town! If you’re merely an observer, let’s see if we can push you into the participant column in this next year. If nothing else, it won’t cost you a thing.