Go Old School
If the Internet isn't your thing and you'd prefer to start and manage a group in person, your best bet will be to work with your local running store. Most local shops will have a message board, and they may even have staff members willing to help you get the group up and running (literally). If there's not a running store in your area, you can post the details about your group in other public areas, like the local library, grocery stores or community recreation centers.
This type of running group may be targeted toward more serious runners who are looking for useful feedback from other members and who are likely to show up come less-than-perfect weather.
Mind the Details
Perhaps the most important thing for you to do is first make sure there isn't already a running group similar to yours in your area. Up to a point, the bigger the group, the better the experience for members because it will be easier to get a full group together (as opposed to just a few runners), and because runners of different abilities will be more likely to find well-matched peers among a larger group. A group of 10 to 15 regulars is a good size. If your group grows much bigger than that, you may want to consider splitting off into smaller groups of different abilities.
As soon as your group grows outside your circle of friends, you'll want to consider the legal liabilities and financial aspects associated with managing such a group. Having members sign a liability disclaimer is a very good idea, and you might want to consider purchasing a liability insurance policy. The Road Runners Club of America offers low cost insurance to member clubs.
If you will be collecting funds from members, you'll need to decide whether you want to establish the group as a non-profit or incorporated entity. At the very least, you should open a bank account solely dedicated to the group's funds so that you can clearly show how, when and for what purpose funds were accessed.
Finally, be sure to check with your local government to ensure there are no ordinances or regulations prohibiting you from establishing a running group or using public parks, trails or spaces for your group runs.
- How to Train with a Running Group
- Solo Running vs. Group Running—Which One is Right For You?
- America's Exclusive Running Clubs
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