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Running clubs in Toronto

Posted by Guest Contributor / May 26, 2012

Running Clubs TorontoRunning clubs in Toronto are where to turn to when running solo starts to get boring and the lure of zombies chasing you on your iPhone isn't enough motivation to keep running. Thankfully, there are plenty of running clubs in the city so for those looking to join one it's worth taking a look at the options below.

I should note that one of the biggest misconceptions of running clubs is that they're for elite and advanced runners only. In reality, many running clubs are for all levels and are a perfect way to socialize your workouts while keeping you motivated to stick with a run schedule.

Here's a list of some of the running clubs in Toronto. Have a favourite? Be sure to add it in the comments.

RunningRats
When: Tuesdays at 6:20 p.m. Commerce Court Running Room
Distance: 7-8K, 10-11K & 13-14K.
Cost: Free
What started as a dozen or so people 10 years ago, has grown to over 60 runners joining Rat Tuesday. Less-advanced runners should join on the first Tuesday of the month where a moderate pacer is available, but this popular club is for those who can run 10K at a moderate pace or faster. Other Tuesdays offer a social, a Tip of the Month and Matching Shirt runs.

Longboat Roadrunners
When: Saturdays at 9 a.m. Grenadier Restaurant, High Park and Sundays at 9 a.m. West End YMCA
Distance: Saturdays, 5-10K and Sundays, 12-36K
Cost: $50 running membership/$25 for students.
With more than 160 members, the Roadrunners must be doing something right since they formed in 1980. All running levels are welcome, even for the longer distances on Sunday where the club tries to ensure every runner has someone to run with. For those looking for a goal to work towards, the Toronto Island Run (5 and 10K) on September 9 is the official Longboat race.

Lululemon
When: Various. Many Lulu run clubs have Facebook pages
Distance: 5-10K
Cost: Free
Not just for yoga, Lululemon hosts run clubs from many of their stores across the city. Their seasoned run ambassadors typically host runs twice a week within the 5-10K ranges including a 5-6K on Wednesday and various distances (5, 8 and 10K) on Saturdays from the Eaton Centre store. Beginners are not just welcomed, they're encouraged.

Nike Runner's Lounge
When: Various, with four locations
Distance: 4-7K
Cost: Free
One of the city's newest run clubs began is support of the mammoth Sporting Life 10K and has four locations that meet once a week, running from four 'hotspots' across Toronto; the Queen West club meets at R Squared Cafe, The Annex club at The Hart House Arbor Room, the Central club at Bulldog Coffee and the North Toronto club at the Sporting Life at 2665 Yonge St. For more info, check out our previous post here.

Running Room
When: Wednesdays, 6 p.m. and Sundays, 8:30 a.m. All Running Room locations
Distance: Various
Cost: Free, but requires registration
With a name like Running Room, you expect them to have a wealth of running options, and they deliver. Practice is open to all runners and walkers with multiple groups under the guidance of pace group leaders. Running Room also holds walking training programs including Walk Fitness, Walk 5K, Walk 10K, Walk Half-Marathon and Walk Marathon in addition to women-only, learn to run and training for all major distances.

Toronto Beaches Runners Club
When: Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, 8:30 a.m. at the Beach Running Room
Distance: Various between 6 and 30K depending on what people are trained for
Cost: $35 for a one-time membership
In just two years, this run club grew from 20 to 140 runners, with about 30 runners joining for each run. The club is spearheaded by Dave Emilio, who's currently embarking on Project 370 with a goal of running every day for a year. Enough motivation for you?

Toronto Running Club
When: Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays, 8:45 a.m at North Toronto Memorial Community Centre
Distances: 7, 10 and 13K
Cost: Free, but a $45 membership comes with perks
Midtowners can get in on the running action by joining the Toronto Running Club with between 20 and 30 runners that join each Wednesday and Saturday. The club hosts a pub night every week after the run.

XSNRG
When: Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. at Sunnybrook Park
Distance: Various, starting with a 10-15 minute warm up run
Cost: $40, annually
Runners of all levels are welcome at XSNRG, which was formed in the late 1980s. Billed as workout runs, the club combines running with intervals that vary weekly from hills to speed. It's recommended that runners should be able to tackle 6 to 8K.

The Mascot Running Club
When: Tuesdays, 8 p.m. at The Mascot Café
Distance: 3-5K with a longer run on Sunday held monthly
Cost: Free
The Mascot launched its run club in October 2011 and usually boasts yoga following the run. The later start time is perfect for the warmers days of summer and for those who work into the evening. The running routes are posted weekly on their blog.

Frontrunners Toronto
When: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:15 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m. at Cawthra Park
Distance: 10 and 15K on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 5, 10 and 15K on Saturdays
Cost: Free
Frontrunners Toronto is a chapter of the International Frontrunners GBLT running organization and run a variety of distances for all levels. For runners aiming for the Pride and Remembrance Run, training with the club happens throughout May and June. Saturday runs finish up with a social hour at The Croissant Tree.

Writing by Matt McNama. Photo by shotzy in the blogTO Flickr pool.

Discussion

27 Comments

Denise / May 26, 2012 at 09:03 am
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For those who would like to run with others at a comfortable pace, there is the Toronto Penguins Running Club: http://www.pathcom.com/~ggabriel/. The Club is a local affiliate of the Penguin Brigade, started by John Bingham, spokesperson for the slow-running movement.
A really nice group of runners who like to get together for social events.
Alex / May 26, 2012 at 01:04 pm
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There's also Bare Minimum, which is a barefoot and minimalist shoe running group. We try to do monthly group runs, generally at High Park, although we're open to new locations.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/bareminimum/
Kristoffer / May 26, 2012 at 04:33 pm
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Great list! I was once very skeptical about joining a run club but I've been doing the Lulu run club off and on for a while and love it. If you want to push yourself to do a 5K 10K or even half and full marathons, these clubs are perfect preparation. Definitely not just for the running elite. Great post.
Sky / May 26, 2012 at 08:50 pm
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Missing is The Runners' Shop, the 2011 winner of both the best running club and the best place to buy running shoes award as voted by "Get Outside" readers. They're located on Bloor near Avenue Rd. A very friendly and supportive group - well-organized group runs. http://www.therunnersshop.com/
Simon / May 28, 2012 at 01:39 pm
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I started off with the Running Room clinic (costs about $60). It was a great way to get me from a casual runner to a runner able to do a half marathon. Met lots of great people and the coach I got to work with was amazing!

Now I'm with the Running Rats. They're definitely a level up from the Running Room clinic and I can feel myself improving every week. Great routes and an enthusiastic group of people make me look forward to Tuesdays.

I definitely recommend anyone that runs to join up with a group! You'll meet some good people and running with any group will help bring out the best in your abilities.
Michael / May 30, 2012 at 10:06 am
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Longboat also has a really great run from the Settlement House at Grange Park on Wednesdays at 6pm. We typically run down to the Lakeshore, and then break up into groups based on ability and do a workout specific to whatever your goal race will be.

We also often do hill workouts in High Park on Friday evenings, meeting at the restaurant parking lot at around 6pm.

We've got every ability level from senior recreational runners to marathoners in the 2:30's.

For 50 bucks you get coaching, at least a couple of organized workouts a week, a great social atmosphere and even other perks like arranged bus transportation to various races outside of the city.

Perhaps as a member I am biast, but I'd say that Longboat is easily the best running club in the city right now.
Dave / June 25, 2012 at 04:17 pm
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As an addition, the Toronto Beaches Runners Club has a free membership. Members who pay the one time membership fee get a shirt and chances to obtain swag, and free race entries etc.
Kersley / October 18, 2012 at 11:45 pm
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Hi, sorry to hijack this post, but I am looking for a running lab that offers fuel efficiency testing in Toronto. I am not sure if there is another terminology for this test, but essentially this test advises on the heart rate zone to run in order to efficiently burn fat.

Would appreciate if any one could advise me.
Elena / April 3, 2013 at 05:23 pm
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HI - I'm looking to get back into running, so I must admit I'm out of shape... for now :)

Are there any groups , or is there a single that is looking to run with a partner - I'm in the Allen Expressway and Lawrence area.

Elena
wasworth liverpool / April 9, 2013 at 04:35 pm
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i will love to be a runing at your club plz
Cynthia / April 17, 2013 at 04:41 pm
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I was part of a running group in Vancouver for about 14 years. We ran the trails of Stanley Park, cooperatively looping back for those who were slower and/or less leg endowed. I have not been running because I have yet to find a group that runs on trails versus pavement (I don't mind a little pavement here or there). I have asked many, many people but I have yet to find such a group in the city. If anyone knows of such a [non-pavement] group, please advise as I would like to continue to keep my knees and back injury free.

Cynthia
Ramesh / June 14, 2013 at 04:01 pm
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Dear Toronto Walkers,

Running is the one and the only healthy free exercise you can ever get. But Running properly and effectively requires well balanced and perfectly tailored shoes. Earlier I used to wear a low quality unknown brand shoes and had severe foot pain, then when I consulted a physician he told me to buy quality and comfortable shoes and that will solve the problem. To be honest I recently bought these Merrell shoes from an online shoe company known as http://www.walkingonacloud.ca and they have the best deals today available online. Great quality at low price, made me have a healthy run.

Ramesh
Linda replying to a comment from Cynthia / June 19, 2013 at 12:18 am
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I am also looking for a running group that runs on trails. I am relocating to Toronto from Alberta and I do a lot of mountain runs/trails runs/ultras. Have you found any trail running groups in Toronto yet? I know the Salomon Shop at Shops at Don Mills does trail running on Wednesdays. I'm looking for a group that does longer trail runs on the weekends as well.
matt / July 23, 2013 at 12:35 am
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hi i live west end st clair and lansdowne any clubs near me ?
Mel replying to a comment from Linda / August 19, 2013 at 03:42 pm
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Did you find a trail group that does longer weekend runs? I'd be interested in joining a trail running group but haven't really found one yet.
ina replying to a comment from Mel / September 2, 2013 at 02:50 am
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Hi, I am working in Hong Kong now and do trail running/mountain running (hmm... more like quick walking when going up hill). I will move back to Toronto in April 2013. I'd be interested in joining any longer weekend trail runs. Please do keep me posted if you have any information.
ダウンジャケット 超歓迎 / November 8, 2013 at 12:04 am
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Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
I think that you just could do with a few percent to drive
the message home a little bit, but instead of that, this is great blog.
An excellent read. I will definitely be back.
Paul Stevens / January 9, 2014 at 04:17 pm
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I definitely recommend Runner's Mark store in Port Credit. They have a great online store and offer great speakers and clinics from their Port Credit location.

http://www.runnersmark.com
SarahJean / January 30, 2014 at 12:37 pm
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I have been dealing with a knee injury for some time now and was wondering if anyone knew of a great therapist (physio, RMT, chiro) that has a strong specialty in running-related injuries. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
Michelle / February 3, 2014 at 09:38 pm
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Athletic Edge Sports Medicine at King and York is fantastic! They deal with a lot of runners.
Mike / April 8, 2014 at 09:40 am
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We have lots of free group runs from BlackToe Running at King and Bathurst (95 Bathurst). We also offer coaching services and a lot of fun! Group runs are Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. No Sign Up required. Details on Facebook and our web site.
Betty / May 6, 2014 at 10:23 pm
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Does anyone know if there are clubs that allow 14+? My daughter is very interested in running and would love to join a group that allows teens. Thanks!
RBP / May 7, 2014 at 01:49 pm
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I'm a beginner who is interested in joining a running club/group in downtown toronto. Does anyone know of any clubs that has runs on weekday mornings? (before work hours is preferred).
Pace & Mind replying to a comment from Betty / May 13, 2014 at 12:39 am
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Hi Betty,
If possible come check out our info session May 15th, all the info is on our Facebook page.
Hope to see you and your daughter.
https://www.facebook.com/paceandmind
Elan / May 13, 2014 at 01:39 pm
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If anyone is looking to raise the spirits of Toronto while they run. Feel free to join the High5run.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/539141989537061/
Raquel / June 10, 2014 at 12:45 pm
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I'm new to Toronto and I'm looking for some running buddies. I took a year off from running after running 10 marathons and I'm just starting back up. I can run 5/7k very slowly. I need the motivation of a running buddy and I would like to run a 1/2 marathon by early fall. I live near the Bloor West area. I miss running!
Jeff / June 15, 2014 at 07:06 pm
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For those interested, I am starting up a free 5km timed run in High Park called Buddy Run. The run will take place every Saturday at 9am starting June 21st. We track everyone's time and post to our website so you can track progress week to week. Registration is open at www.running-buddies.com

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