By Christian Kendzierski
For most people, the cold winter weather means hunkering down by the fireplace and waiting out the low temperatures, but I think it’s the best time of year to get out on the street and burn off some energy by running! Yeah, running in the winter! Many experts say when you exercise in cold temperatures you burn more calories because your body needs more energy to keep warm. That makes sense to me. Look around, people are doing it and if you are interested in joining them, here are some groups around Baltimore where all you have to do is show up and run, of course.
Saturday Long Runs – Baltimore Road Runners’ Club
P.O. Box 9825
Baltimore, Md. 21284
Hours: Saturdays at 7 or 7:30 a.m.
Cost: Saturday runs FREE, no membership required; Membership: $22.00 adults; Prices vary for children and students
The Baltimore Road Runners’ Club has been around for more than 40 years, serving as a place where like-minded runners can meet and do what they like to do best – RUN. The BRRC host many events throughout the year and keep members informed about upcoming, organized races, as well as planned and last minute meet-ups for a good run. Every Saturday, including the cold months, members get together and run through alternate routes, including Baltimore’s NCR Trail, a fairly wide open flat space through the woods, and Loch Raven Reservoir Park, where you can expect some hills. Check out the website for specific meeting locations.
Monday Main Event – Federal Hill Runners
Federal Hill Fitness
39 E. Cross Street
Baltimore, Md. 21230
Hours: Mondays at 6:30 p.m. – Membership not required
The perfect group for city running, the Federal Hill Runners meet every Monday for The Monday Main Event where members and non-members alike run a mapped out course beginning in Baltimore’s historic Federal Hill. They advise if it’s your first time joining the group for a free run – show up about 10 minutes ahead of time to meet the group and get acquainted with the course. The group is not exclusive for just runners; walkers are welcome, as well. The great challenge about running in the Federal Hill neighborhood – it’s a hill, so be prepared to go up and down.
RASAC Running Club
P.O. Box 844
Bel Air, Md. 21014
Hours: Saturdays and Sundays at 7 a.m. or 8 a.m.
Cost: Annual Membership $10.00
The Renaissance Allsports Athletic Club is the oldest, non-profit running group in Maryland. They meet on a regular basis and plan and organize large running and athletic events in Harford County, Md. The group is so established, it has its own Honor Roll and Hall of Fame. With a couple of casual and more organized runs scheduled each week, this group is worth a look. They even have a long run scheduled for Saturdays.
Winter Beginning Runners Class – Annapolis Striders
P.O. Box 187
Annapolis, Md. 21404
Hours: Sundays in January and February- 10 a.m. at Weems-Whelan Field/Bates Junior High
Cost: Free with membership; Annual fee: $15.00
For more than 25 years, the Annapolis Striders running club supports physical and mental wellness through the practice of long distance running. The group not only organizes and plans runner events, but creates and coordinates a training regime to get any member or new member on the right track to have a good race. They welcome all experienced and non-experienced runners and encourage first-timers to take their Winter Beginning Runners Class. They meet every Sunday with an optional Wednesday evening class through mid-February. Don’t forget to drink plenty of fluids.
NCR Trail Snails
Northern Central Railroad Trail
Cockeysville, Md. 21030
Hours: Saturdays at 8:00 a.m.
The NCR Trail Snails’ motto, “We’re behind you all the way,” speaks volumes for their supportive and community-like atmosphere. This group, just over 10 years old, meets every Saturday for a free run at your own pace. They pride themselves on it being a great organization to run with old friends or meet some new ones. They all meet up after their Saturday runs for breakfast, too. The NCR Trail Snails also schedules special outings for more rugged terrain trails and have a month e-newsletter to keep members informed of schedule changes. Again, it’s free of charge!
Christian Kendzierski spends most of his time as a media specialist at Mount St. Mary’s University in Maryland. He also works as a freelance writer and lives in Baltimore. See what’s going in Christian’s world by following him on Twitter @ck1media.