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Pound the Pavement: Local Running Groups

For some people, running a marathon is an annual event.  For others it’s something we threaten to do only after a second double double.  Whether you’re just getting off the couch or want to shave a few seconds off your best time, there are plenty of Bay Area running clubs to help you reach the finish line.

 

Ladies First
The Bay Area Luna Chix are keeping the fairer sex sexy by encouraging all women to get out for a run, jog, or even trot.  The Chix provide training, advice and support by women for women, while raising awareness and cash for The Breast Cancer Fund -- $280,000 to date.  Meet the Chix at 5:45 every first and third Wednesday at Satori Yoga for a 3 to 5 mile runteamlunachix.com

New Kids on the Track
For you newbies who think 13.1 miles is plenty, there’s Fleet Feet Sports’ all-inclusive 13.1 Unleashed training program.  Train three days a week under the tutelage of local endurance coach Marathon Matt (Matt Forsman).  Enjoy swag from Nike running apparel and GU Energy Brew.  Chill at the relaxing massage seminars and team social events.  Sign up now and be ready to run the San Francisco Half Marathon Nov. 10.  fleetfeetsanfrancisco.com $140.

Running for a Cause
Get healthy and help others do the same by joining the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training.  Create a regimen with established coaches, and get advise and support from your teammates and mentors.  Not only are you helping fight this terrible disease, but many teams travel abroad for marathons and half marathons.  A jog through Paris anyone? teamintraining.org, 4156251100

Sweat Equity
Strapped for cash?  Don’t want to run alone?  For the low, low price of $20 you can join the Dolphin South End Runners, San Francisco’s oldest and largest running club.  Keep your running schedule on track with group runs twice a week and assess your progress at timed races nearly every weekend.  Becoming a member also means store and entry fee discounts, awards and picnics.  dserunners.com, 4159780837.

On the Road to Boston
If this isn’t your first race and you want a group that will help you shave some time, San Francisco Road Runners Club offers advanced 24-week programs year round.  Veteran marathoners choose between “Enjoy” or “Kick-Butt” programs depending on time commitment, and seemingly pain threshold.  Pace groups, track workouts, detailed training schedules and specialized seminars help seasoned runners get their best times and even qualify for the Boston Marathon.  SFRRC also offers beginner and novice classes at selected times.  sfrrc.clubexpress.com, $150