Running Groups for Kids

Parent Q&A

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  • Family running club?

    (1 reply)

    I'd like to get my 10 year old son a little more interested in running by running (distantly) with some other kids/families, for maybe 5K maximum. Does such a group exist in the East Bay? Or should I start one?

    We have loved Running for a Better Oakland (RBO), which is doing online weekly practices right now but meets in person in normal times. It's a great organization that has adapted relatively seamlessly to these crazy times. Kids are assigned runs and challenges to do on their own each week, and some meet up for distanced runs with friends.

  • Running for girls

    (7 replies)


    I am looking for a running program, cross country or track, for my 13 year old daughter. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much!! 

    Raptors Running Club is a really wonderful nonprofit club team for both girls and boys. It promotes healthy form, healthy habits, and the love of running as a lifelong practice - not the overtraining and other unhealthy things our daughter encountered on her high school team.

    Hi there, I would recommend going on It is a website that has running events from all over the country, I am sure you will be able to find something there, but of course most of them might be postponed right now. Best!

    Hello, I would be happy to recommend Inside trail, they are local and are organizing runs all over the Bay Area. I have been running with them for a few years now and I have seen children from 8 and up running. They organize runs from 5k to 100k, most of them are trail runs. Their website is

    Hi all, these are great ideas, and a great topic in the time of COVID.  We're looking for a running club too.  The Raptors sounds pretty good, but does anyone know of a running club a bit more south like around San Leandro?  Also, we have a 16-yo son, and I wonder he'd be too old for the Raptors?  Thanks all!

    Thank you so so much! 

    Re: Raptors - there's a really wide array of ages involved; some of the runners are high school students. I walked by one of their workouts last week and it was older teens. The main coach's college-aged kid attends workouts, and often acts as a coach to the younger kids. Sorry - they really are based in Berkeley and Albany though!

    Oakland Cubs! My 13 yr old (f) has been with them for two years, and I can't love the coach enough. Body positive and just so, so fantastic with girls. She's skilled and really gets the kids. Everyone is encouraged to work at their own level.

  • 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!