Five Maine Running Groups
Find running camaraderie on the trails and the road
Warm weather brings all the runners out, from the mighty fast marathoners to the easy-going jog-walkers. And while solitary runs on local trails suit plenty of folks just fine, running with a group has perks, too. Running groups are supremely social (which often translates to making new friends), and running with other people supplies a level of motivation that’s hard to summon on our own. Many of Maine’s running groups are free to join, or have a nominal annual membership fee, and most of them run year-round, too (sometimes in snowshoes).
Maine Track Club
Maine Track Club has gathered local runners together since 1979. Open to all level, MTC has groups in several towns, including South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Gorham, Scarborough, Sabattus, and Yarmouth. They also organize several races a year, and members have access to training clinics and social events. Membership is $25 a year. Mainetrackclub.com
Trail Runners of Midcoast Maine
Trail Runners of Midcoast Maine is a free, year-round trail running group that meets a couple times a week in the Camden area (in warmer months, they usually run the trails at Camden Snow Bowl). Monday Night Dirt is a no-drop group run, which means beginners won’t feel left in the dust, and there are also runs on Wednesday and weekends. Find them on the web or on Facebook.
Old Port Pub Run
Old Port Pub Run is perfect for Portland-area runners who are motivated by post-run beers. The group meets at 6:15 p.m. every Thursday, year-round, at Liquid Riot Bottling Company in Portland. Runs range from 3 to 5 miles, and socializing back at the bar follows. The group is free, but bring money to buy your own beer. www.oldportpubrun.com
Fleet Feet Maine Running
Fleet Feet Maine Running offers run groups its locations in Brunswick and Portland. The $75 fee includes three days of running (Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday), coaches, a year-long training program, and informational clinics. www.fleetfeetmainerunning.com
Trail Monster Running
Trail Monster Running is for serious trail runners who aren’t shy of rain, mud, and snow. Membership is “paid in the form sweat and blood on the trails,” which means you become an official member by showing up to run and volunteer. How fast you are doesn’t matter – the love of trail running does.
Central Maine Striders
Central Maine Striders in Waterville, established in 1975, connects runners of all levels, from recreational runners to competitive racers. The $15 yearly membership fee is good for the whole household and includes discounts for club races and access to group runs and training programs.
— Text: Shannon Bryan