The window of perfect weather for Philly running—when the temperatures are in the delightfully brisk low 60s, fall leaves are crunching below you and the sun is shining above you—is blink-and-you-might-miss-it short. And sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but with temps dropping into the 30s, I’m pretty sure it’s passed. And with it, our motivation to run anywhere (except to answer the door for our weekly date with pho delivery).
Enter these Philly running groups that give you an added incentive to lace up your shoes: the feeling of doing something good for someone else on the regular. These running groups range in who they help—from shelter dogs to the homeless to disabled athletes—but they all serve the purpose of encouraging you to stick to your running routine. Because, after all, what kind of monster stands up a shelter dog? Check them out below.
Back on My Feet, a non-profit with outposts in cities across the country, is on a mission to combat homelessness through running. (You can learn all about how, exactly, they strive to do that here.) They host early-morning group runs for their members three times a week, which is where you come in: As a volunteer, you’ll run alongside members, cheering them on as they rack up miles, while also getting your morning miles in well before sunrise.
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Happy #tongueouttuesday from Ariella! A young, athletic and energetic running buddy available at @acctphilly! Want a partner that motivates you to go farther, faster and more frequently? Well, you’ve found her! #adoptarunningbuddy . . . . #adoptlocalphl #runningbuddy #runswithdogs #acctphilly #monstermilers
If “Will run for dog snuggles” is your life motto, then consider the Monster Milers your running group soulmate. The group, which takes adoptable shelter dogs for runs to help them get energy out and, in the end, increase their chances of adoption, hosts group runs with adoptable dogs roughly twice a month. Check Facebook for group run dates.
Philly Achilles is all about getting everyone—no matter their physical limitations—moving. The non-profit pairs athletes with disabilities with compassionate volunteer guides to run and workout alongside them. They meet for an all-paces group run at 16th and Chestnut Street every Saturday, and trained volunteers also help to guide athletes with disabilities in races throughout the year. Becoming a volunteer is delightfully simple, too—just show up for a group run and let them show you the ropes.
Students Run Philly Style is not a volunteer gig for the fickle: Volunteer running leaders commit to running with students two to three times a week for a long stretch of the year. (How’s that for workout accountability?) The non-profit’s mission is to foster resilience in students through running. The idea: Running is hard, and the mental strength students gain while training for a race like Broad Street—and actually slogging through those 10 miles—transfers over to other areas of their life, too, setting them up to better navigate life’s challenges. Cool, huh?
Need a little more treadmill time before committing to a running group?
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