Rarely a week goes by where I don’t run with the Groupies at least once. I want to tell you why being a member of a running group is good, and why, specifically, KC Running Company is my very favorite running group! Now many of points I will list below could be specific to KCRC; I have never been in a running club or part of a running group before KCRC, but in my 6+ months with the KC Running Co, I have seen just how good a group can be. Following is 10 ‘awesome’ points about KCRC are in no particular order.
1. Amazing sense of community. From the very first Groupie run I went to, I was welcomed with open arms. Now, it’s no big secret that I am not a speedy runner. I was welcomed by the group and most everyone introduced themselves and asked about me and my running. Every run since, if there have been new members, I witness the group welcoming them, fast or slow, old or young, male or female.
2. Supported Group runs. KC Running Co. has 4 runs each week. Tuesday is speed night, where there is a specific speed-related workout, whether it is hill repeats, 400 meter sprints, fartleks, etc. Each Tuesday is a different workout, and each is completely catered to any caliber of runner. Like I said, I am not a particularly speedy runner, and I have never felt like the slow poke of the group, even when I am the last runner to finish. Wednesday and Thursday are easy run nights, at two different locations, where the group runs 3-4 miles. There is always a water/aid station halfway. Sundays are the long run days, with a supported route up to 16 miles. There is water/aid every 2 miles, and typically over 100 runners come out on Sundays. This is all free, there is no cost to go to a Groupie run with KCRC.
3. Well run races and events. I have been to several KCRC sponsored races, and all are run so professionally and smoothly. If you want to see how it’s done, go to a KC Running Co. race.
4. Free events. I have attended a Ladies Night with massages and wine sponsored by New Balance, a free Martin City Brewing Co. run with pizza and beer after sponsored by Nathan Sports, a movie night where we got together and watched a pre-screening McFarland, and these are just some of the free events put on by KC Running Co!
5. Test runs. I can’t even count the number of Groupie runs I have attended where I got to try out a pair of running shoes from a company I would have typically never have given a thought to. Saucony, Hoka, Altra, Adidas, New Balance, Brooks… all of these companies have had test-runs in their shoes. Shoes aren’t the only things to test run, I’ve had the chance to try out socks (and keep them!), gloves, and even tech shirts.
6. Friendly and knowledgeable staff. Every time I go into the KC Running Co. store (which is more often than I’d like to admit!), I am greeted with a huge hello, and the staff knows more about running and shoes and apparel than I ever hope to know. They can answer any question, and often have solutions that you’d never know about otherwise. If you need shoe fitting, or to figure out what type of gear you need, this is the place to go.
8. Store locations. Very shortly after I moved to KC last summer, I learned that KC Running Co., which had been simply a timing services and race management company, was planning on opening a running store. How excited was I? VERY! They opened the Leawood store (4760 W 135th St, Leawood, KS) last fall, and here in just a week or two, are opening a second store in Lee’s Summit (1555 NE Douglas St. Lee’s Summit, MO). They have running apparel, accessories, shoes, and sports medicine products. Everything you could need, they have it, or can order it for you!
9. Discounts on gear and races. Like I mentioned above, following KC Running Co. on social media is a fantastic thing to do if you want discounts or early bird pricing for races. They often post discount codes for races, and before/after Groupie runs, you can get 20% off most items in the store.
10. Friendships. I have made numerous friends through KC Running Co Groupie events and runs. It is not just the supportive community, some of these people have become extremely close friends, that I can not only run with, but spend time with outside of the Groupies!
KC Running Company, I love you! Thanks for being so amazing. I strongly encourage you, the reader, to try to attend a running club, at least once! If you are scared you won’t fit in, or feel like you’ll be the slowest, or don’t like the way you look, or don’t consider yourself a runner, GO ANYWAY! You ARE a runner, you WILL fit in, you WON’T be the slowest (and as a fellow member of the Slowest Runner Club, IT DOESN’T MATTER even if you are!)
I’m so glad I found KCRC, they are the best running store, club, and group out there. If you are in the KC area, I highly recommend them. If you aren’t, well come and visit and run with us!
Do you have a running club? Share why you love your group!