Whether you're looking to get in shape for the summer or training for a specific race like the CCC, there are several running groups around the city to help with motivation. Here are a few running groups we picked out around New Orleans to help jump start your fitness goals.
Happy's Running Club
This running club’s motto is “Run, Drink and Be Happy,” and that’s exactly what runners can expect. The group meets every Wednesday at 5:48 p.m. at Happy’s on Poydras for a 5K run starting at 6:16 p.m. The routes vary, but they usually take runners through the CBD or French Quarter. All runners, walkers and even canines are welcome. As soon as you finish your run, you get to throw back a beer. You don’t have to be an official member of the club to run. However, members get perks throughout the year such as discounted beer, invites to member parties and a club shirt. Photo courtesy: Happy’s Running Club
Varsity Sports New Orleans
This running and fitness store also offers many options when looking for a running group. The store’s website features a calendar listing meet-ups at locations across the metro area. On Mondays, a group meets at City Park for a track workout. Tuesday’s “Sunrise at Satsuma” run begins at 6 a.m. at Satsuma Cafe on Maple St. with a 3.5-mile route and a 5-mile route. There’s also a meet-up in Old Metairie on Thursdays. On Saturdays, the group alternates runs between City Park and Audubon Park. This run starts at 6:30 a.m. Several routes are offered both for short and long distance runners with routes ranging from three to 10 miles.
Louisiana Running + Walking Co.
Every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this running store organizes runs at various locations. The group meets on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. at the Mid-City store location. They team up with the Guidosportif track club at Jefferson Playground on Tuesdays at 6 p.m. for a track-focused workout to help runners build speed and endurance. On Wednesdays, the group gathers at the Uptown store location for a two to six-mile walk/run on the levee and around Audubon Park with the finish line at Ale Bar on Oak Street.
PowerMiler Track Club
You know this group is for serious runners with a motto like “Work Hard. Race Hard. Improve. Repeat.” This running group meets twice a week with the goal to train for varying race distances, from the mile to the marathon. Catch them on Tuesdays at 5:45 p.m. at Pontiff Playground.
VooDoo Hash House Harriers
This self-proclaimed “drinking club with a running problem” incorporates just that — running and drinking. The rowdy group meets every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at various locations around the city. They encourage runners to “bring a buck and a six pack” to meet-ups. If you run with them enough times, you may earn an icon candle or a necklace and your very own hash nickname. Contact the group for a specific location each week.
New Orleans Jogging Tours
Explore the city while getting in a bit of exercise with this group. A New Orleans native and avid runner decided to start a business that merged running and sight-seeing. He created this 10k running tour that stops by some of the city’s famous landmarks including Jackson Square, the Old Ursuline Convent, Sandra Bullock’s house and Lafayette Cemetary #1. The $35 tour departs Monday through Saturday at 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and on Sundays at 8 a.m. Since this is a tour, runners should prepare to stop intermittently to learn interesting facts about the city and its sights.