Thursday, May 28, 2009

Speedy runner? Join the Club

Got an e-mail today from Jason Holder, a local distance runner who recently was involved in the launch of the Charlotte Running Club -- which, he says, is modeled after clubs in cities like Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York.

"Our goal is to provide training and race opportunities for people in the Charlotte area who serious about distance running. ... Several of our founding members are already affiliated with the teams run by specialty stores, so we don't want to interfere with that, but we do want to get Charlotte's most passionate and competitive runners together in one group.

"We think this area has a unique and diversified running community, and this is our opportunity to capitalize on that."

Ultimately, Holder says they'd like the club to be USA Track & Field certified.

Requirements for membership are rigorous: Men, for instance, need an official time of 19 minutes or faster in a 5K, or 3:15 or faster in a marathon; women can qualify with a 43-minute or faster 10K, or a 1:45 or better half-marathon time.

So, needless to say, if you get into the club, you won't be able to claim yours truly as a fellow member! But it's a great idea, and I hope that if you're fast enough (and serious enough about running), you'll look into lending these guys your support.

Click here to visit the Charlotte Running Club Web site, or check them out on Facebook by clicking here.


run said...

Even if you are not at the qualifying times yet and aspiring to be in the next year or so, come out on a run with us! We look forward to seeing you. - Aaron Linz: Chairman of Charlotte Running Club.

Richard Hefner said...

Wow... that's gonna be some small club with those qualifying times. For the 99% of us who don't qualify, what we need in the Charlotte area is a running club that welcomes ALL runners, not just the elite. The Asheville Track Club is a good example...

Anonymous said...

sigh...always a bridesmaid...

"The club is for Charlotte, North Carolina runners who are interested in competing in various running events and want to be part of a collaborative group that helps each other improve. We are an independent competitive running club that maintains entrance criteria based on time but allows for a broader membership."

"Initiating members must have a documented race within the past 2 years from the time of club application submission to qualify as a valid time. Current members must have a time from a documented race during the calendar year to avoid 6 month probation in the next year. Members who joined the club after October 31 of a calendar year are provided a 9 month probation. In January of 2010an A and B standard times along with perks and responsibilities will be introduced. The intent of the A and B standard is to provide the fastest members of the club some additional perks but in return, they will provide some additional services to the members at large."

"1) Attend at least 1 run a month with the club.
2) Complete the initial membership application.
3) Complete the annual membership questionnaire.
4) Participate in > 4 running events in the state of North Carolina and South Carolina during a calendar year. Of the 4 events, 2 must be races the club has sanctioned as club events.
5) Meet at least one club required time standard for initial inclusion in the club. See time standards for more information.
6) Meet at least one club time standard during the course of the membership year. See time standards for more information.
7) Must be 21 years or older to be a member.
8) By joining the club a member authorizes the club to be able to post pictures and marketing material about our members running related activities and performances. No personal information provided to the club as part of the membership questionnaire is shared to any sponsors or parties other than current members of the club.
9) Renew membership each calendar year."

Lost me way back at "entrance criteria based on time but allows for a broader membership"?

jay said...

These comments are actually very helpful. We are very new and have a lot to learn. As we grow and figure things out, these qualifying times will likely change. For example, we are talking about setting different standards based on age groups. It would be great to have a masters team. We certainly want people who are dedicated and love the sport as much as we do. I think I speak for all of us when I say dedication and effort are far more important than the time at the finish line. Stay tuned!
jay holder

Anonymous said...

While I may not be fast enough to join this club, I don't have a problem with fast runners wanting to run together and support each other. I would rather run with and hang out with people at about my same speed and goals. For the comment about wanting a club that accepts everyone -- well, start one. That's what these guys are doing with their club.

And there are several informal running groups and more organized training groups that are open to people of all speeds, such as usafit, galloway, meetup. Ask at your local running store and they can give you advice on finding a running group.

Anonymous said...

Are there any clubs in town for those of us who are wanting to become a runner, but aren't one now? I'd love to train for a 5k, but would like group support!

Jay said...

It seems that it would be in the best interest of our running club and of the Charlotte running community to drop the time standards from our membership requirements. Although, we still want to be exclusive, we want to be exclusive to people who are passionate about running. We realize that doesn't always equate to a 4:00 minute mile and it shouldn't have to. So, be sure to check out and we hope to see you on a run soon!

Anonymous said...

There are some clubs in town for runners of all levels, including beginners. I noticed that they've listed some on the Charlotte Running Club web site. The ones I've been involved with have always been welcoming and open to helping those just starting out.

I'm not up to the level for this club, yet, but I wish you all the best of luck.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte Runners Meetup Group welcomes and accepts runners of all abilities. Beginners are not only welcome, they're encouraged to join! You don't have to qualify to be a member, just sign up. It's a very supportive group and very passionate about running and having a fun time. Just go to and search for Charlotte Runners. There's a run almost every day and a 5K every Saturday morning. Contact an organizer with any questions.

Greg said...

I am glad for the Charlotte Running Club that they dropped the time requirements, but frankly, to have time requirements at all undermines the inclusive nature of running. The Charlotte Running Meetup group is a really great place for folks of all abilities to run. Go to and search for Charlotte Runners. It really is a great group.