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Colleen O'Neil Wednesday, 13 November 2013 13:02 TWEET COMMENTS 29

12 Top Trail-Running Clubs - Page 2

2. Crooked River Trail Runners

Cuyahoga Valley, OH

Photo submitted by Luke Baum

The Crooked River Trail Runners (CRTR) meet every Thursday evening for a five-mile run in Ohio’s only National Park, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, where waterfall sightings, creek crossings and rock scrambles abound. The group boasts nearly 2000 members on Facebook and runs rain or shine (or snow!), even through northern Ohio’s brutally cold winters. Its runners range in age from 10 to 72 years old.

Although Thursdays are the only official group-run days, many members run together on other days of the week, too—and several annual themed runs, including an Easter egg run and Halloween costume run, keep the club stoked year round. A newly minted “club house” offers a space for club members to hang out after the runs and celebrate birthdays or other occasions together, complete with the occasional muddy-shoe-themed cake.

CRTR doesn’t do intense workouts; it’s the group’s casual atmosphere that keeps runners coming back to the trails week after week. Their sponsor, Western Reserve Racing, puts on about a dozen short and long trail races throughout Ohio every year, including the iconic Burning River 100.

Member Rave: “I have lived in Cleveland for many years and have been all over, but I never realized the extensive trail system we have here in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I do now, and it is remarkable ... some of the best in the country.” –Luke Baum



3. Coyote Running

Los Angeles, CA

Photo submitted by Steven Selikoff

Los Angeles is more known for its concrete jungle of 18-lane highways and overpasses than for its opportunities for outdoor recreation—but urban trail enthusiasts need not despair. Runner Andy Pearson should know; he moved from Boulder, Colorado, to Los Angeles last August and worried he’d never run trails again—until he discovered “the Coyotes.”

Every Thursday morning at 6 a.m., 50-70 runners come together to enjoy the trails of Southern California’s finest wilderness areas. The club, established by coaches Jimmy Dean and Kate Martini Freeman, boasts an active, tightly-knit community of over 1000 passionate trail runners who train, race, and volunteer together, often pacing strangers at ultras or cheering raucously on race sideline. “Possibly overly loud,” says member Marshall Howland, “the Coyotes can be heard miles before any aid station they happen to be volunteering at.” The group is free, but a small, paying contingent of runners receives more intense, race-specific coaching.

An upcoming clinic called Trail Pandemonium offers runners personalized coaching, weekend long run, road and trail workouts, a personalized training schedule, weekend long runs, social events, team dinners and “endless high fives.”

Member Rave: "The motto is, 'If you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong'. I feel lucky to have stumbled upon this group; its been 2+ years and I keep coming back for more.” –William Sipes



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