Columbus Running Club: 5 Ways to Flex Your Fitness and Connect with Fellow Runners

Columbus offers a thriving and inclusive running community, with numerous clubs and programs catering to individuals of all fitness levels. The Columbus Running Club is among the frontrunners, having been established in 1998. Its mission is to promote healthy living and the joy of running for people of all ages and abilities. Over the years, the club has developed numerous programs that showcase the joy and benefits of running, ultimately inspiring the local running community.

In addition to the Columbus Running Club, there’s the Columbus Running Company, which maintains six locations throughout Central Ohio. Offering various programs, resources, and events, the Columbus Running Company aims to encourage and support the local running scene. Their social run and walk schedule features group outings targeting different paces and abilities, ensuring that the running community remains diverse, welcoming, and encouraging to new members.

For those who appreciate a more social setting, partnerships between running clubs and local businesses provide opportunities for pub runs, like the weekly event by CRC and Nocterra Brewing. With various running clubs and groups across Central Ohio, there is something for everyone, from beginners to seasoned runners, ultimately reinforcing the strong sense of camaraderie within the Columbus running community.

Overview of Columbus Running Club

History and Mission

The Columbus Running Club was founded in 1998 with the aim of promoting healthy living through the joy of running. Over the years, the club has successfully developed numerous programs to help people of all ages and abilities experience the benefits and joys of running. Their mission is to provide events and programs for runners in the Columbus area, fostering a sense of community among participants.

Benefits for Members

Group Runs: Members of the Columbus Running Club have access to regular group runs, providing an opportunity to connect with other runners, share experiences, and engage in social activities, all while staying physically active within the Columbus running community.

Training Programs: The club offers a variety of training programs to accommodate different skill levels and goals. From Walk & Run 101 for beginners aiming to complete a 5k, to comprehensive training plans for half and full marathons, there’s something for everyone in the CRC community.

Access to Experts: Columbus Running Club members benefit from the knowledge and support of experienced runners and club officers, such as President Josh Knight and contact Prasad Poludasu. These running enthusiasts are available to share their expertise and assist club members in meeting their individual goals.

Youth Programs: Recognizing the importance of encouraging physical activity among the younger generation, the Columbus Running Club has established the Grasshoppers Youth Running Club. This initiative helps kids in grades 3-6 fall in love with the sport of running, catering to various ability levels across summer, fall, and spring seasons.

By joining the Columbus Running Club, members become part of a dedicated running community that supports and uplifts each other, all while enjoying the physical and mental benefits of regular exercise in the Columbus area.

Events and Races

AEP Ohio Columbus 10K

The AEP Ohio Columbus 10K is an annual event hosted by the Columbus Running Club. It is a popular race for runners of all levels and attracts participants from across the region. The course is known for its scenic views along the Columbus riverfront and friendly atmosphere. The race typically takes place in June, with registration opening several months in advance.

Group Runs

The Columbus Running Club organizes regular group runs for club members and the local running community. These group runs provide a supportive environment for runners to meet new people, share their experiences, and train together. They usually cover various distances and paces, catering to the needs of both beginners and experienced runners. Visit the club’s website for the latest schedule and information on how to join their group runs.

Full Marathon

One of the highlights in the Columbus Running Club calendar is the Mill Race Marathon, held annually in September. This event attracts runners from all over for its challenging course and beautiful scenery. The marathon race is well-supported by the local community, with numerous volunteers and cheering fans offering encouragement along the route.

Distance Start Time Fees
Marathon 7:30 am $85 – $125
Half 7:30 am $65 – $100

Note: The above table is for illustrative purposes only. Please check the race website for exact fees and start times.


In addition to running events, the Columbus Running Club also organizes walks to promote fitness and community engagement among those who prefer a slower pace. These walks often take place in conjunction with running events, giving participants the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful Columbus trails and parks at a leisurely pace. With an emphasis on camaraderie and inclusivity, the club’s walking events are suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels.

Youth Programs

Grasshoppers Youth Running Club

The Grasshoppers Youth Running Club offers a unique opportunity for children in Central Ohio to experience the sport of running in a structured and secure setting. Since 2012, the club has been dedicated to helping kids from grades 3-6 develop their passion for running, regardless of their ability level.

The Grasshopper program is divided into three seasons: summer, fall, and spring. The summer season serves as an introductory program for children, while the fall and spring seasons offer more advanced training and racing opportunities.

Summer Season:

  • Intro-level program
  • Suitable for kids going into grades 3-6
  • Focus on developing a love for running

Fall and Spring Seasons:

  • Advancement in training and racing skills
  • Occasional time trials during practices
  • Participation in local road race 5Ks and track meets

One of the main goals of the Grasshoppers Youth Running Club is to create an encouraging and motivational atmosphere for children to grow their physical abilities and self-confidence. They also emphasize the importance of teamwork and sportsmanship.

The Grasshoppers program often concludes its spring session with the optional participation in the AEP Ohio Columbus 10K, which is considered a “marathon” challenge for this age group. This event allows young runners to test their abilities and showcase the skills they have developed during their time with the club.

By participating in the Grasshoppers Youth Running Club, young athletes are introduced to a healthy and active lifestyle, allowing them to build a strong foundation for their future athletic endeavors.

Training and Coaching

Coaches and Expertise

The Columbus Running Club is home to a team of experienced and dedicated coaches, who have a wealth of knowledge in training runners of all levels. These coaches have written for various running publications, such as Running Times, Competitor, and RunOhio. They are well-versed in coaching beginners and guiding them towards their goals, from their first 5K to more challenging races like marathons.

Customized Training Plans

Each runner at the Columbus Running Club receives a personalized training plan tailored to their individual needs, goals, and schedule. The club focuses on:

  • Goal setting: Setting achievable and realistic goals based on a runner’s current fitness level.
  • Progress tracking: Regular assessment of a runner’s progress, and adjusting training plans accordingly.
  • Injury prevention: Proper warm-up, stretching, and strengthening exercises to minimize the risk of injuries.
  • Group accountability: Social runs and group workouts to foster camaraderie and motivate each other towards improvement.

Registration and Fees

To become a member of the Columbus Running Club, prospective runners have to follow a simple registration process. Complete details can be found on their website. The club’s fees vary depending on the duration and type of training plan chosen. Some additional perks that come with club membership include:

  • Access to scheduled group runs and workouts
  • Discounts on races and events
  • Educational workshops and seminars

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced runner, the Columbus Running Club provides the necessary coaching, support, and tailored training plans to help you reach your running goals.

Community Involvement and Service

Community Outreach

The Columbus Running Club (CRC) is dedicated to promoting healthy living through their passion for running. One of the ways they do this is through their strong commitment to community service and outreach in the Columbus area. Their initiatives include organizing events like Fitness Fun Runs for elementary school students. By engaging people of all ages, CRC aims to encourage physical activity and foster a love for running within the local community.

Partnerships with CERC

The CRC has formed significant partnerships with other running clubs in the area to strengthen the running community in Columbus. In particular, they have established a partnership with The Columbus Eastside Running Club (CERC). This collaboration aims to support and advance running throughout Central Ohio by jointly organizing events, group runs, and training programs. Members of both clubs benefit from the partnership through shared resources, expanded social networks, and increased motivation to pursue personal running goals.

By working together, the CRC and CERC not only create a supportive environment for their members but also make a lasting impact on the larger community. Their collective dedication to service and community outreach helps to promote a healthy and active lifestyle for all Central Ohio residents.

columbus running club logo Matthew Brunken

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