If you run with a group, you’ll become a better runner and have more fun. Obviously, there are no guarantees, but if you’re working towards a challenging goal, or you simply want to become more consistent and make those 5K fun runs easier, training in a group environment has huge advantages.

Sure, there are times when running alone is preferred, but doing some of your runs with others has tremendous benefits.

Almost immediately after moving to Portland in 2013, I found a local running group. Not only was it a perfect place to tap into the local running scene, but also an excellent way to meet new people with similar interests. These people became (and many still are) my community.

Below are three running groups in Portland that you may be interested in checking-out. They each offer a little something different, depending on what type of socializing and running intensity you’re looking for.

Portland Running Company

PRC is my group, and I love them! It’s made up of brand new runners, super fast post-collegiate speedsters, and everyone in between. I mostly attend the beer run on Thursday, and long run on Sunday, but they have group runs every day of the week, except Friday.

Here’s what team captain, Ryan Heal has to say about the PRC running group;

All are welcome! Some days are short, easy runs; some days are long runs. We run trails, we run on the track, and we even buy you a beer once a week! Some participants in our group runs are members of our Race Team. There are no benchmarks for joining our Race Team. It’s a supportive group that encourages you to set ambitious goals for yourself.

The race team is $55 per year (with great discounts and perks), but all group runs are free. If you’d like to run with us, I highly recommend coming on Thursday nights!

NoPo Run Club

If you live in North Portland and enjoy beer and running, this is the club for you! According to Mary Chen, one of the club organizers;

Nopo run club is a grassroots community that started in 2011, and has been built on the camaraderie of runners from all walks of life. The combination of running and beer has been the perfect platform for people who love the active life style and want a social atmosphere. Our goal is to create the best running experience at any skill level and to provide all the resources for our runners’ needs.

This group is free, and they meet Wednesday’s at 6:30 PM at Stormbreaker Brewing (832 N Beech St) for 3 – 6 miles. They also host longer weekend brunch runs.

Team Red Lizard

If you’re looking for something a little more focused, Team Red Lizard is for you. According to Tim Swietlik
Vice President of Team Red Lizard Running Club;

Team Red Lizard offers a training, racing and social network that aims to assist athletes of all abilities in achieving their fitness goals. While the club has plenty of runners who place well in local races, the thing that makes TRL unique is that there is no performance criteria required to join, and members of the club pride themselves in supporting members who are competing at whatever level they are capable. Members typically join looking for a group of people to train and race with, and TRL facilitates this by offering standing group runs and track workouts during the week, having a message board for connecting for runs, and competing in local races.

Team Red Lizard also hosts the regional Special Olympics track meet and provides pacing for the Portland Marathon (assuming it isn’t canceled), along with organizing the Stumptown Cross country race series in the fall.

Membership is $30 a year (or $50 for a couple). Join here!

Your Running Group

There are many other running groups in Portland, and we hope to share more about them in the future.

Do you participate in a local running group? Which one? Share in the comments below.