Feel Like Running? Join The Club!

By Tanya

Would you like to start running but are unsure where to begin? Do you want to get fit or stay fit? Are you itching to improve your running speed, distance, or endurance? Are you looking to find some great running friends? Or try some amazing less crowded, less expensive races?  If so, you should definitely check out your local running club.

I have enjoyed all of these perks and many more through participation in my local running club the Oregon Road Runners Club (ORRC). I had never even heard of the ORRC until I really began to seriously think about running a couple of years ago. I was introduced to the club by a friend of mine, Charlotte, who is a tennis player and occasional runner.  Charlotte had heard that the club offered a 10K running series throughout the year, and she thought it would be a good motivator to make sure she ran at least once a month. 
Bridget, Charlotte, and Me at 2011 ORRC The Best Dam Run

I was just getting into running and only had a 4 mile race under my belt, but I agreed with Charlotte that that it would be a good motivator. I briefly checked out their website and I was sold right away by the awesome deal you get for the 10k series, it works out to about $12.00 per race!

I signed up at the first race of the series the Y2K11 and was pleasantly surprised by how friendly everyone was and how much fun I had. But the perks didn’t stop there!  I was given a cool racing shirt that had check boxes listing all of the races in the 10k series, and found that the ORRC offers free training runs every week both on the eastside and westside of Portland, that both offer free pizza to the participants once a month.

Getting ready for a Westside Tuesday ORRC workout

I started running with the club once a week and the benefits were tremendous. Through the encouragement and inspiration of the runners I met, I became stronger and faster. By the next race in the series I felt like a true runner. As the series continued, I loved the different array of locations and courses that each race offered.  I also came to find out that as a member you are awarded points for each race you run as well as where you place within the race. At the end of the year the ORRC holds a banquet for its members giving out multiple awards and trophies for racing points and other achievements.
My awards from the 2011 ORRC banquet

I can’t say enough good things about the ORRC. I love how diverse the club is with runners and walkers of all ages, fitness levels, and goals; all encouraging one another to stay active. I could go on and on about the great races they put on, as well as the amazing friends I have made in the club and how inspired I am by each and every one of them.

Some of my inspirations at the ORRC. These guys are amazing athletes and tough to keep up with!!

The ORRC offers other races in addition to the 10k series.  Check out their website or their monthly publication, The Oregon Distance Runner, for more info. Or come join me at the next ORRC sponsored 10K race.  I'll be at The Garlic Festival 10K and 2-mile Run/Walk on Saturday, August 11, 2012, in North Plains, Oregon. This is an excellent event for the whole family to participate in together, as it is held in conjuction with the Garlic Festival fair and parade. You can register for the race online through the ORRC website or come early on race morning to register on site.

I hope to see you there. Who knows you just might be inspired. And if you feel like running, join the club!


  1. Sounds like a great club! We don't have anything quite like that where I live but I wish we did.

    Just found your blog and I love that the three of you do it together. What a great idea!

    1. Thanks Tia! I am so blessed to live where there is a really active and supportive running community. Have you checked out the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA)website? They have a list of all the clubs around the nation that are affiliated with them like the ORRC.
      Best of luck on your search!

  2. I wish I could join you! Every time i look at the races that ORRC offers, I think "what a deal"! about that series. I might make it to the estacada 10k. Will you be at that one?

    1. You're right Raina!It's not only a great deal because of the cost, but also the races are really fun. The Estacada Best Dam Run is one of my favorites! I will certianly be there. If you are planning on coming let me know and I'll be sure to come say "Hi".

  3. Hi Tanya,

    I'm so glad I found this blog, I find it incredibly inspiring! There's just one thing that tickled me a bit in this post and that is the way you described how you had just gotten into running and ''just'' done one 4 mile race. I worked very hard to even be able to run 4 miles at a time and I am still pretty slow...:) So for me, that is a great achievement. When I just got started, I couldn't even run 1 mile. I think getting into running is going out and doing it, no matter for how long or far, right? I don't mean to criticize, I just thought that maybe someone read that and thought ''Woah, that's intimidating, does that mean I have to run a 4 mile race before I can even consider myself a runner'' like I would've a year ago. :)

    God bless,

    1. Helena, you are so right! Thank you for bringing that to my attention. It totally agree that getting out there and running or walking any distance is a great achievement. It's all about being active and finding the right balance for our bodies and lifestyles. Being a "runner" is all about how you feel inside. I too couldn't even run a minute when I started!! I'm so happy you like our blog. Thank you for inspiring me!

  4. What a great article. I also love running. It’s good to all people. They can burn fat and change their body shape through it.