Looking for a Running Crew in Boston? Here Are Some of Our Favorites


, by Jesse Weber

Photography by: Ivana Tačíková

Boston is among the nation’s best cities for runners. Aside from the famed route of the Boston Marathon, the metro has many ideal routes for neighborhood training and urban exploration. There are calm paths along the Charles River, harborwalk jaunts in Seaport, and strings of public parks along the Emerald Necklace, with everything connected by transit and pedestrian-friendly streets.

Here for it all is Boston’s huge community of runners and running clubs, who stay active through the year with all kinds of group runs and events. No matter what kind of athlete you are — competitive racer or someone just getting into running — Boston has a run crew for you. From road running teams, parkrun groups, and trail running gangs, here are some of the best running clubs to join in Boston.

Road Running Clubs

Whether you’re training for a marathon or working up to your first 5k, Boston’s diverse road running clubs will help you find companions and coaches to support your goals. If races are not on your radar, and you simply want to run and have fun, then these clubs have what you’re looking for as well. Each running group on our list has something to offer for every ability and background.

Boston Road Runners

The BRR team is dedicated to promoting urban running in the Greater Boston area. The club puts on multiple races per year and hosts long runs every Saturday. For the long runs, they make sure to fit everyone’s goals by making custom groups according to pace and target distance. The club also has a strong trail running contingent, so you can surely find your crew no matter what you’re training for.

Somerville Road Runners

As the longest-standing club based in Somerville, these Road Runners are one of the better known clubs around. They host many events each week, including a 5k Fun Run that’s free for anyone. As a member, you can join group runs on other days of the week, as well as weekend long runs with different groups to suit your pace. The variety of runs and bonus social events make the Somerville Runners truly a team for everyone.

Brighton Bangers

Known as “Boston’s friendliest running club” on their website, the Brighton Bangers are indeed a welcoming club for runners of all abilities. They have group runs every Wednesday and Saturday, ending each at The Last Drop pub near Oak Square. The club also hosts social events, enters team races, and works on service projects to give back to the community.

New Balance Run Club

With the global headquarters in nearby Brighton, New Balance is a long-time fixture of the Boston running scene. New Balance Run Club is a virtual community that spans the globe, and the local chapter hosts in-person group runs from NB HQ at Boston Landing. Even if you aren’t in Boston, you can join the New Balance Run Club on Strava to enter challenges, earn rewards, and connect with other runners in your area.

Photography by: Marcio Jose Bastos Silva

B.A.A. Running Club

As the organization in charge of the Boston Marathon, few club names are better known than the Boston Athletic Association. What you might not know is that BAA also has a running team for all ages and abilities, with pro coaches and a diverse community across Greater Boston. The BAA Running Club offers weekly training runs and fitness sessions along with regular social events and volunteer opportunities. If you are serious about qualifying for the Boston Marathon or competing in another of Boston’s prestigious road races, there might be no better group than the BAA’s own club to run with.

1.5 Star Run Club

With the simple motto of “Just show up,” Southie’s 1.5 Star Run Club likes to keep it casual. They meet every Saturday morning at Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar for group runs of 1 mile, 5k, or 10k, so you can pick your distance and meet everyone back at the restaurant afterward. The club’s name is supposedly a jab at a 1.5-star rating that Loco once received online. Who knows what the critic was mad about, because the snub doesn't keep anyone from enjoying tacos and margaritas post-run.

Midnight Runners Boston

Midnight Runners is a global running organization with chapters in cities all over the world. The Boston chapter meets up twice a week for runs of various distances, with emphasis on the vibes instead of speed or distance. Think of it as a mobile group fitness class with music, not your typical club run.

Heartbreakers Boston

Named for the famous Heartbreak Hill in the Boston Marathon, Heartbreakers Running Club has chapters in Cambridge, Newton, and South End. The club welcomes all running levels and backgrounds, and they offer coach-led sessions that are scaled to meet your different abilities. In addition to the practices and group runs, membership as a Heartbreaker gets you exclusive gear, race discounts, and personalized training plans.

Cambridge Running Club

If you want to take your running to the next level, consider joining the Cambridge Running Club for track workouts and weekly long runs. They welcome runners of all abilities, but their pro coaches can uniquely prepare you to push farther or faster in your next race of choice. Training goes throughout the winter thanks to indoor track access at MIT. The club stays socially active throughout the year as well, with events like holiday parties and camping trips.

Dashing Whippets Boston

The Dashing Whippets are a relatively small team in Boston, but part of a larger club based in New York City. As a Dashing Whippet you can join in coach-led long runs, track workouts, and road workouts every week. The group meets in central locations like Boston Common and MIT campus and likes to find variety in the routes they run throughout the city.

Notch Run Club

There are many bars in Boston with weekly beer runs, but how many have a USATF-registered team and four group runs per week? There may only be one, and that is Notch Brewery. You can meet up with the Notch Run Club (AKA Meters for Liters) at either of their two locations – one in Brighton and one in Salem. They welcome everyone and don’t care about pace or distance, but they also give opportunities to train and enter team races.

Sole Sisters

An all-women’s running club based in Wilmington, the Sole Sisters are a vibrant community for female runners of all paces and experience levels. They hold multiple group runs each week, offer coach-led programs for race training, and organize a Grand Prix series each year. The Sole Sisters also focus on empowering young women through training and scholarships, helping athletes succeed even beyond the race finish line.

Photography by: Halo Creative Studio

Wicked Running Club

If you live northeast of Boston, check out the Salem-based Wicked Running Club. This laid-back crew welcomes all levels and ages for weekly group runs, and they offer Tuesday track sessions for anyone serious about upping their game. The club hosts races of its own and organizes an annual grand prix. The Wicked good times aren’t limited to running, either, as the club says right in their motto, “We walk, we run, we generally have fun.”

Colonial Road Runners

One of the biggest clubs in Southeastern Mass is the Colonial Road Runners. They meet in Abington for weekly group training runs, fun runs, track workouts, and other events. They also enter club-sponsored road races throughout the region. The group welcomes runners of all abilities, and prioritizes training to meet a variety of different running goals.

Greater Boston Track Club

This is a track and road running club for post-collegiate athletes to continue running competitively. GBTC training and team races span many events in track and field, cross country, road running, and even trail running. Members get professional coaching, access to premium facilities, logistical support for entering meets, and may even get sponsorship for entries. You must apply to join, but the club invites runners from all different backgrounds and disciplines to participate.

Boston Area Parkruns

Free 5k runs on Saturday mornings are a growing global phenomenon. Parkruns, as they are commonly called, are not races but community events for walkers, runners, and supportive family members held in public open spaces. Joining a parkrun is the perfect way to try your first 5K or just to find good company for your weekend training.

Parkruns are popping up in more and more cities around the world. According to the parkrun Global organization, Boston currently has two nearby, and more could be on the way. These runs are entirely dependent on volunteers, so you might consider lending a hand or even starting a new one in your neighborhood.

Trail Running Clubs

For those in search of off-road terrain, Boston also has a strong community of trail runners and several dedicated clubs. These groups cater to runners of all levels, from first-time dirt explorers to veteran ultramarathoners. Joining one of these clubs will help you discover new trails, train for your next race, and make sure that you always have trail friends to run with.

Trail Animals Running Club

Not so far from Boston is New England’s largest trail running club. Based in Westwood, the Trail Animals Running Club are a motivated crew who welcome runners of all abilities and backgrounds to join their pack. They hold free group runs around Eastern Mass and put on trail races a few times a year. With events designed for everyone from total beginners to 100-miler veterans, TARC is the club for getting serious about trail running near Boston.

Waltham Trail Runners

Another Boston-area trail club is the Waltham Trail Runners, a friendly crew that plans runs almost every day of the week. Their backyard has routes along the Charles River and up on Prospect Hill, along with woods and fields in nearby conservation lands. Weekly runs include casual 5ks, morning coffee runs, and evening beer runs with options for all abilities.

Northeast Trail Crew

Northeast Trail Crew is based in Boston, and their main stomping ground is the Middlesex Fells Reservation just north of the city. NTC is a laid-back, social club that meets for trail runs at least twice per week, and they occasionally organize practice runs to prepare for local races.

All of the clubs we’ve just described are just a sampling of the rich running community based in Boston. No matter where you live in this athletic city, you can certainly find a friendly local crew to run with. As a runner in Boston, your biggest challenge won’t be finding a running group, it will be fitting all the group runs into your week!

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