January is traditionally the time to work off those extra holiday pounds or fulfill that promise to oneself to get back in shape. Running is a great way to do that. But while there are those who willingly go out for a run in predawn darkness or in frigid cold, there are also those who enjoy running, who once out there will say that they’re glad that they did it, but who need a little reinforcement to get out of bed and put on those running shoes. Or maybe they just like a little company while running.
To the rescue: runners’ clubs. There are a variety of clubs for runners that can be found in the Hudson Valley region, each with its own approach, be it competitive runs or “just-for-fun” runs. Here’s a sampling of what’s out there:
Mid-Hudson Road Runners’ Club
Based on the eastern side of the Hudson River around Poughkeepsie, the Mid-Hudson Road Runners’ Club (MHRRC) is one of the area’s larger groups and is associated with popular races such as the Dutchess County Classic.
Upcoming events include the “Recover from the Holidays” run this Saturday, January 4 at 9 a.m. at Norrie State Park in Staatsburgh. The annual endurance race allows runners to complete as many 5K loops as possible, with a cap at 50K. The course remains open for six hours. For more details, contact Charlie Sprauer at (845) 635-2936 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Pete Colaizzo at (845) 309-3640 or e-mail email@example.com.
The Pete Sanfilippo Winter Run, a five-mile race in Baird State Park in Lagrangeville, will be held on Sunday, February 2 at 10 a.m. The annual five-mile run is free for MHRRC club members and $5 for others registering before January 31. The race-day fee is $10 for club members and $15 for others. Registration begins at 9 a.m. For more information, contact Keith Melara at (845) 891-5631 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monthly club meetings feature a guest speaker. The club updates its website regularly at www.mhrrc.org. Annual dues are $15.
Onteora Runners’ Club
The Onteora Runners are based on the western side of the Hudson River in the middle of the Hudson Valley. Although the club is centered in Ulster County, it was founded in Greene County in the 1970s and is affiliated with the Road Runners’ Club. Its 400 members receive discounts at area races and get a monthly newsletter. Find detailed information on races and runs at www.onteorarunners.org, contact Bill Harper by e-mail at email@example.com or call (845) 331-2825. Annual dues are $15.
Orange Runners’ Club
Based in Middletown, the nonprofit Orange Runners’ Club promotes running for fitness, competition and camaraderie. It was formed in May of 1980 by Bruce Birnbaum and John Cummins and currently boasts approximately 380 members. Like most of the other clubs, membership allows for a discount on race entry fees and a monthly meeting with guest speakers. The Orange Runners also receive membership discounts at area businesses and individualized training schedules and racing advice, along with organized and open track workouts. There are two 5K events coming up in January and two more in February. For more information, visit www.orangerunnersclub.org. Annual dues are $25.
Shawangunk Running Club
The Shawangunk Running Club has been in existence for several decades and has been by choice a relatively unstructured organization, functioning more as a team than a club. There didn’t used to be a membership fee, but that has changed due to the need to support the group’s activities. Everyone in the group is competitively-minded, regardless of ability. They do three organized workouts per week on Tuesday and Friday evenings and a long run on Sundays at 8:30 a.m. They also run a number of races during the summer and fall. The Shawangunk Runners train and race in the Gunks in Ulster County. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, find Shawangunk Runners on www.facebook.com or visit www.shawangunkrunners.org. The annual fee is $25.