Runners are a special kind of crazy. For most, starting the day by waking up at an absurd hour and sweating profusely while gaining as much distance as possible is a nightmare scenario reserved for a zombie apocalypse. Runners, however, call a few lost toenails and chafed spots all part of the fun. While lacing up your sneaks and popping in your earbuds might help you get your zen on, running clubs are a great way to meet others who share your masochistic tendencies. New Orleans has clubs for runners of every level, so whether you’re a pro, or just starting out, there’s a club for you. Plus, there’s always beer at the end.
Thursdays- 6:30 pm meet/7:00 pm run, location varies by week
It doesn’t get much more New Orleans than the Hashers, a self-proclaimed “drinking club with a running problem”. Voodoo H3 is the New Orleans branch of the Hash House Harriers, an international social running club organization centered around the idea of a hunt- the “hares” get an early start and lay the running trail, while the “hounds” try and catch up to them. Think of a hash as part run, part game, and all parts party. Runs are usually around 5K, and walkers are also welcome. After the run, the group gathers together for some (extremely raunchy) songs, drinks, and general debauchery. Bring $1, a 6-pack of whatever you want to drink, a whistle, and a flashlight. Let them know it’s your first time and they’ll give you a rundown of how the whole thing works.
Wednesdays- 6:00 pm meet/ 6:15 pm run, Happy’s Irish Pub (1009 Poydras St.)
Started by two runners in 2008, Happy’s motto is Run…Drink…and Be Happy! One of the largest clubs in the city, the Happy’s group includes runners of all levels looking to enjoy themselves on a leisurely (or not so leisurely!) run through downtown NOLA. Walkers and leashed pups are also welcome. The run always finishes up at Happy’s Pub, which means there will definitely be socializing and celebrating afterward.
Mid City Mondays- 6:30 pm run, Louisiana Running + Walking Co. (4153 Canal St.)
Uptown Fridays- 6:00 pm run, Cooter Browns Bar (509 S. Carrollton Ave.)
Free and open to everyone, the Louisiana Running + Walking Co. running club meets twice weekly to get in a good workout and have a few beers afterward. Mondays they run through Mid City, usually through City Park. Fridays the group runs through Uptown and Audubon Park. On both days, runners and walkers can choose a course that stretches anywhere between 1 and 5 miles.
Tuesday Track Sessions- 6:00 pm, Pontiff Playground (1521 Palm St. in Metairie) or City Park (Roosevelt Mall)
Sunday Long Runs- 6:00 am, Audubon Park (St. Charles entrance, 6698 St. Charles)
Looking for a group that’s a little more intense? The Power Milers were started in 2006 to help athletes train for individual and team distance races. Members attend track workouts on Tuesdays and long training runs on Sundays. The goal is always training for the next race, which members are encouraged to participate in together.
Monday Hill Runs- 5:30 pm, location varies
Tuesday Speed Work- 5:00 am, Kings Grant Track (3805 15th St. in Harvey)
Wednesday Runs- 6:00 pm, Woodland Hwy Lower Coast Bridge (meet in the parking lot behind Family Dollar at the foot of the bridge in Algiers)
Sunday Runs- 6:00 am, Holy Cross College parking lot (4123 Woodland Dr. in Algiers)
Are you a West Banker looking to meet a group of fellow run lovers without having to cross the river? Look no further than the Bestbank Track Club. The group meets to run and socialize throughout the week. They also arrange club events like crawfish boils and swim parties. And they participate in local races.
Thursdays- 6:15 pm run, location varies
Since 1963 the New Orleans Track Club has been promoting health and fitness in New Orleans. They organize numerous races throughout the year, including the popular Turkey Day Race and Jackson Day Race. The Run Group meets once a week and is open to everyone, NOTC members and non-members, of all levels. Each week a running route is provided, and participants are encouraged to tweak the run to match their level.
Know a fun running club we forgot to add? Let us know in the comments or tag us next time you sweat it out with #FrayLife #NOLAFray.
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