Spring is in the air, so it’s time to dust off those running shoes and dazzle your training partners. Whether you’re trying to fight the flab, training for a fun run, prepping for the next LA Marathon, or simply trying to stay in shape, there are a host of jogging and running clubs in the LA basin that can help you achieve your goals. These are the cream of the crop.
1450 Ocean Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Price: $65 31-week training program
Founded by Bob Scott, the L.A. Leggers focuses on training and preparing club members for 5K, 10K and marathon running. The club, which meets on Saturday mornings at the Santa Monica Senior Center, offers an intensive 31-week program. Most of the training routes are found along the edge of the Pacific Ocean between Santa Monica and Marina Del Rey, but contact members for details about your new favorite run routes.
2870 Los Feliz Place, PMB #229
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Price: $25 per calendar year for singles/$35 for couples
LA Frontrunners provides a running and walking program that encompasses weekly fun runs, an annual Pride Run as well as the LAFR Grand Prix racing series that ranks (by age group) individual member performances over the year. While the club is aimed primarily at members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, it’s open to all. Running venues include Griffith Park, Santa Monica, Silverlake, West Hollywood and the Pasadena Rose Bowl. A great social group, the Frontrunners usually follows a run with a meal at a local restaurant or a potluck.
Los Angeles Running Club
8117 W Manchester Ave #273
Playa del Rey, CA, 90293
Price: $45 per year (year runs from July 1 and ends June 30)
If running solo doesn’t float your boat, then the L.A. Running Club has the answer. The non-profit, all-volunteer club offers year-round training runs, an interval training track night, and recreational and social activities. LARC meets in Santa Monica at the high school, at the totem pole on Ocean Avenue and San Vicente, at K-Swiss on Main Street, and also at the Westminster Avenue Elementary School on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice every Saturday at 7 a.m. as part of its training program.
Westminster Avenue Elementary School
1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Venice, CA 90291
Price: $145 (fee does not include marathon registration)
The LA Roadrunners provide Los Angeles Marathon hopefuls with an officially sanctioned, six-month training program (September through March), coached by Andrew Castor, that aims to transform its alumni from couch potatoes into champions. The Roadrunners — who meet every Saturday at 7 a.m. at the Westminster Avenue Elementary School in Venice — offer 20 run, run-walk and walk-paced groups that shoot for eight- to 16-minute miles. Registrants receive a dedicated training guide plus nutritional and training tips via the LA Roadrunners website.
Club Ed Running
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Price: $100 per calendar year (prorated as appropriate)
Founded some 30 years ago by Ed Avol, a professor of clinical preventive medicine at USC, Club Ed Running is an informal group based in the Los Angeles South Bay that runs distances from 5K to 26 miles. The club, which usually meets three times a week, caters to all running levels and ages, and uses a variety of South Bay training and workout venues including the Veterans Parkway for the Wood Chips Run (originating at Valley Park in Hermosa Beach), The Strand for pier-to-pier runs from Manhattan to Hermosa, Mira Costa High School for track sessions, and Malaga Cove in Palos Verdes for an out-and-back weekly run. Try the club out for free at one of the weekly training sessions.
Julian Gothard is an internationally published freelance writer covering all things Los Angeles. You can check out his popular RVing and travel column at Examiner.com.