Running Groups

Parent Q&A

  • Track, Running Club for Middle-school kids

    (3 replies)


    I have a 12 year old who runs for her Middle-school  cross country and track program. Those programs sort of start and end suddenly and there are never enough coaches to train the kids. She would love to get better and do runs with other kids-she is not ready to go out running the roads of Berkeley yet!

    Raptors is a fun, relaxed, supportive running club that my son participated in until recently, while he was in middle school. They meet Sunday mornings at Albany Middle School.

    Hi there-- my daughter loves to run as well; she's almost 13 years old. She also runs for her middle schools XC & track program.

    On weekends and after school, she runs with the Raptors and the coaches are wonderful: She would love to have a friend there!

    There is a great youth running club called Raptors Running which works out variously at the Albany High track, King Middle School Track, or goes on trail runs. They focus on technique - healthy running! - so important for growing teens - especially girls, whose center of gravity changes as they develop. (As I can attest from personal experience: my daughter wound up with two different stress fractures because her HS coach had them run too many junk miles.)

    They do charge a membership fee, but that really just covers the uniform (which is cool) and membership fees to the US Track association for the runner; the coaches all work for free, just because they love promoting the sport. The coaches really know how to coach for good form and core strength.

Parent Reviews

RE: Soccer skills for pre teen ()

Hi there! I have a 7th grader, and he used to play soccer for about 4 years. He was never super good at it, never really enjoyed it that much, but mostly did it because friends from his school did it and that made it fun. When he started middle school last year, the soccer became super competitive. That is just not him. So a friend asked him to try running track with him. It has changed his life! I realize that maybe not all kids would take to it like he did, but there are about 100 kids in his school that run, and they all find something in it that they like, all sizes, heights, body types. You can be competitive, or not. But basically you get to run around all afternoon with your friends, and the boys joke around and wrestle a lot, too. I think that some of the smaller schools may have tryouts and limit the amount of kids to just the most serious athletes. This is a shame! Shouldn't we be encouraging all kids who want to get off their screens and run around to develop something that can turn into a lifelong fitness habit?? Even if a school has a tryout cross-country/track program, there are local teams that he could join (my son is part of the Raptors as well as being on his middle school team.) As a parent, I love it because it is pretty simple to get started, you need some good shoes and you just start running. And a good coach will encourage each kid to improve from their own starting point; not to strive to be number one, but to challenge themselves to shave a few seconds off of their own personal record. You are part of a team, and yet it is still very individual. It is great for kids who are just not into the aggressive turn that soccer takes at their ages. Best to you guys!

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Running group during the week?

June 2008

Hi, I'm running the San Francisco Half Marathon and would like to run with a running club/group for extra trainng support. The few that I've found only meet on weekend mornings, when I'm at work. Can anyone recommend a running group that meets during the week - evening or mornings? Thanks! First time half marathoner

Try or Not sure if either offers weekday runs, but it's worth a try. Good luck! running mom

Transports has weeknight running groups for all levels. Solano Ave - thursday nights College Ave - ?? See Jane Run used to have a running group, not sure if they still do or when it meets. Never been, but heard...

Transsports offers weekday running clubs - I believe there's a Wednesday trail run and a Thursday evening run. Go to for information - I believe you can just show up on Thursdays by 6:30 at the Solano Ave. store, but I think you have to sign up for the Wednesday night runs.

Experience with See Jane Run or other groups?

March 2008

I am looking for a running group/partner and saw that See Jane Run has a training program. Has anyone had any experience with them? Or do you know of any other women's running groups? new to race training

I currently run with See Jane Run. The group's OK, but I think there are others that are just as good, if not better and cheaper. My main beef is that it's too expensive for what they provide - $99 for 1/2 a season, one training run per week. This session started mid-February and goes through to (I think) the end of May. This means $200 to train through for an end of year race like the Nike 1/2 or full marathon. If you want interval or hill training it's an extra $150ish for each. Sometimes extra morning runs come up ad-hoc for those that can make it - hard to do on short notice if you have kids.

Runs are done early Saturday mornings, rotating through East Bay, SF, and North Bay. They provide water, route maps, and cones as mile markers. Routes are planned for novice and intermediate/ advanced runners. Coaches are available for advice, as are running mentors. The mentors I have seen have completed marathons in the past but are starting almost from scratch in their training so make it all seem very achievable - and are not scrawny, leggy, ra-ra types. The whole group is quite diverse.

The training program is nothing special - you can get something similar from any running book, or free online. The discounts for races are not significant ($2 on the Emerald across the Bay). So far what I've gotten out of it is that it gets me out of bed for a long run on a Saturday morning, which I otherwise might not do, and I've learned some new running routes. Oh, and you do get a technical t-shirt.

I guess it's good for someone aiming for a particular race - probably 1/2 marathon or shorter. I think the price precludes long term membership for many people. still running

I just started running with a new women's running group called Ask About Running. Several of the women trained previously with a See Jane Run group. We meet on Sundays at 9 a.m. in the East Bay and there's also a group that meets at 1 p.m. in San Francisco. It's very casual -- some women walk, some run, some are training for events, some are not. You can check out the group's blog at You can join at various prices listed in the blog, though so far I have been paying weekly, which is $6. This weekend (March 22) we are meeting on Saturday instead of Sunday because of Easter. All of the information is on the blog, or you can email me. Come join us -- it's fun! Noel

I did See Jane last year and it worked great for me as a pretty new runnner - but the season was much longer and less money last year. Our see jane coach broke off and is doing her own running club now and there is an east bay run/walk group which is GREAT for me as all Sunday AM runs are in the east bay check it out at sandra

Looking for a group to run/exercise with

Jan 2005

I'm looking for some sort of fitness support in the way of an organization whose members arrange training together. I was a formerly fit human who ran, biked, swam, hiked, rockclimbed...and then sustained some injuries and had children, and never found a way to integrate it all back together again. Well my injuries are abated and I've been working out by myself and really need to find others to train with. I have modest aspirations so nothing too competitive, or at least a group with a less competitive branch. A self sustaining group would be ideal. I'm not particularly interested in boot camp, as I'd prefer to find mutually motivated and knowledgeable people for workouts. Also, I live in Oakland so a proximal radius is preferable.

Have you looked into See Jane Run's College Ave) training program? They are actually running a training for their triathlon right now. Additionally, Transition Sports on Piedmont Ave. has a running team that includes track workouts. There are runners at all levels in these groups. Good luck! Anna

i joined team-in-training which is the largest endurance event training group. it raises money for the leukemia and lymphoma society. you could join the walkers, runners, cyclists, and/or triathletes and train for a half-marathon, marathon, century ride or triathlon. the coaches are great. they have lots of experience with a wide variety of athletes (beginner to pro) and the schedules are proven to work. it's very rewarding and fun. first time marathon finisher