By: Dennis Holden
Moving to a new city/town can be a struggle. Now add in a move across the Atlantic and you will find yourself in my (running) shoes at the end of 2020.
After spending two years in Scotland and meeting some amazing people through local runs, it was time to start anew in Southern Ontario at the height of the pandemic. The question became how do I find local running groups?
During the pandemic, I had set a few goals around running and completing a triathlon. Being a chronic procrastinator, the only way I will be held accountable was to find a group to give me the push I needed. After a long a long day of work or when the weather maybe less than ideal I know my fellow runners would be there to help you through it.
I am lucky in the modern age where social media plays a huge part in promoting and advertising local groups. Along with a little help from Google, I was able to locate two groups local to my new city. I am based in St. Catharines, ON so my local groups may not be local to everyone. The first group is a little higher performance with paid coaching/training while the second group is more about bringing people together and giving back to the local community.
The first group I joined was Edge Triathlon (www.edgetriathlon.net), as the name suggests the group is heavily focused on triathlon training but there are several people who just attend the run sessions. Joining Edge was an easy choice has during the pandemic I decided I wanted to start training to complete a Triathlon. With no background knowledge or information on how to manage three different sports, joining Edge was an easy decision and I was able to complete my first Triathlon last summer with four more this year. Edge offers run, bike and swim workouts and training schedules that can help you achieve your running/triathlon goals. Over the past year I have had the pleasure of training with some of the nicest individuals who have gone out of their way to welcome me to the region!
The second group is The Corners Run Crew (www.instagram.com/thecornersruncrew), with the slogan “Moderate Pace // Positive Space”. Looking for an easy going and laid-back group run to contrast to hard speed workouts with Edge, The Corners were the perfect fit. No matter your skill, or experience with running they like to say, “You have already made this team” and “Your pace is the least interesting thing about you”. They meet Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings for a mix of short road runs, and longer trail runs. Every run starts and ends a local establishment in St. Catharines with a post-run meetup for a beer on Tuesday or a baked treat and coffee on Saturday. All hands are welcome to attend, and it has been an amazing way to meet like-minded people!
Moving to a new city is daunting but finding like-minded people that share a hobby has been an easy way to make new friends during some of the hardest times recently. I know I will continue to run with both groups for the foreseeable future. If you are bit interested in joining either group for a run do not hesitate to reach out to myself or the groups, and I look forward to seeing you out on a run!