West Michigan Running Groups

If you are looking for a way to elevate your running experience in the coming year, consider connecting with the running community by joining a group run! We’ve compiled a list of running groups in West Michigan. We appreciate our readers from all over, so we do want to mention that if you ever visit, let us know! Part of the motivation behind this article was to provide visitors to the area a chance to connect for a group run. 

If you have a group that hasn’t been mentioned, you are 100% invited to shamelessly promote your group in the comments below (and we apologize for missing you!).

We talk about connection a lot here at AtoZrunning. We are passionate about pursuing balance and integrating healthy running into our lives. We believe we are meant to be in community and coming together in this sport will help us to lead healthier and happier lives.

Here are the featured groups:
The Rapid Herd
The Dirty Herd
Lyon Street Running Club
Grand River Track Club
RunGR
WestSide Stride
White Pine Moving Mamas
Grand Rapids Running Club
Kalamazoo Area Runners
Holland Running Club

Other groups we found:
Striders Group Runs
West Michigan Trail Runners
Run Muskegon

Featured Groups

The Rapid Herd

I start with The Rapid Herd because if you’re staying downtown Grand Rapids for any reason, this group meets at the downtown YMCA and is very convenient for the Grand Rapids visitor. Of course, it is also a great location for residents of the area and those who work downtown. This Gazelle Sports group has been meeting for 12 years, and every workout has a name (thanks to their clever leader, Caroline Cook).

Where:
Meets in the front lobby of the David D. Hunting YMCA (475 Lake Michigan Dr NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504) and then runs outdoors

When:
Every Tuesday at noon

Run distance:
Around 6 miles

Type of group:
Free, drop-in

Paces:
Every week is a different speed workout out of your comfort zone – carefully planned by Caroline to be the optimum balance between hard effort and fun with running friends.

Type of run:
Tempo runs, sprints, hill repeats, fartleks and track intervals 

Contact info
Caroline Cook, ccook@gazellesports.com

The Dirty Herd

Getting into nature is one of the reasons many of us love the sport of running. Trail running is great for the body and the soul. Sometimes it’s fun to get into the woods and get dirty. Robinette’s Apple Haus where the trails are located is on the East Beltline in Grand Rapids. This group is consistent; they have never missed a Sunday. Only Christmas has cancelled them in the last decade. This is another Gazelle Group found in the West Michigan area.

Where:
Robinette’s Apple Haus (3142 4 Mile RD NE Grand Rapids, MI 49525)

When:
Every Sunday – 4:00pm in the winter, 6:00pm in the summer

How long or far:
The trail is 5.5 miles long, but there are options to run less.

Type of group:
Free, drop-in

Paces:
Variety, depending on who shows (run whatever pace you feel like)

Type of run:
Trail run!  90% single track, hilly

Contact info:
Rob Andro, randro@gazellesports.com 

Lyon Street Run Club

I’ll be honest. I am itching to get to this group. It really sounds like everything I could want in a group… social running AND coffee. (If you hate coffee, I bet you can buy a good cup of tea or hot cocoa.) This is another group in the heart of the city who welcomes drop-ins. The group leader, Elyse Mathos, shared, “It’s been amazing to find a community of people that truly supports one another, cheers each other on, and encourages you to be the best version of yourself.”

Where:
Lyon Street Café (617 Lyon Street NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503)

When:
Every Tuesday @ 6 AM

Run distance:
3-mile loop, with optional additional 2 miles (same route each week)

Type of group:
Free, drop-in

Paces:
Currently ranging from 7:15/mi to 10:30/mi

Type of run:
Social group run

Contact info: 
Email: lyonstreetrunclub@gmail.com  
Facebook: Lyon Street Run Club
IG: @lyonstreetrunclub

Grand River Track Club

Located in Grandville and Wyoming, this team-oriented group strives to pursue athletic excellence and promote the friendships found by running and training together. Drop-ins are welcome, and you will want to keep coming back. Co-founder of Grand River Track Club, Colin Hunter explained, “The running community is important for encouragement, teamwork, and friendship. Training partners provide an incredible performance impact; a rising tide lifts all ships. But my training partners have also become some of my closest friends, and friendship is more valuable than any race performance ever will be.” Grand River Track Club has a goal of winning every marathon in Michigan at least once in the next decade.

Where:
Grandville, Wyoming (the Grand River) and southern Kent county 

Photo credit: Evenso Photography

When:
Seasonally dependent check out their facebook page to see the latest (generally weekly)

Run distance:
Varies based on group needs

Group type:
Free, drop-in (race team opportunities, also)

Paces:
All paces and skill levels welcome

Type of run:
Workout twice per month, easy run twice per month

Contact info:
Email: grandrivertrackclub@gmail.com
Facebook: Grand River Track Club
Instagram:@grandrivertrackclub

RunGR

One of the most prevalent groups in the West Michigan area is RunGR. When I asked you (our followers) who we needed to include in this article, many of you enthusiastically suggested this group. RunGR is a membership group offering input from two certified coaches as well as the group run experience. With over 300 members, RunGR includes many ranges of skills and abilities all pursuing various goals.. 

Where:
Grand Rapids, MI (Weekly speed sessions in East Grand Rapids, weekly long runs in the Grand Rapids area)

When:
Tuesday & Thursday speed work at 6pm (6am in the summer)
Saturday long runs at 8am (7am in the summer)
Wednesday morning strength & conditioning at 6am

Run distance:
Speed work (1-2 mile warm up, 2-4 miles of track work, 1-2 mile cool down)
Long run (6-22 miles depending on training plan of runner)

Group type:
Annual paid membership with rolling signups:
Individual membership is $165
Family membership is $240
collegiate students can join for $75 (currently)
This basically works out to less than $1 per workout.
(The Wednesday morning class is an additional $5 per session.)

Paces:
Pace range of 6:00/mi to 13:00/mi

Type of run:
Run types vary by time of year and training plan. Workouts tend to include hill repeats, fartleks, intervals, and progression runs (on roads and on the track), while long runs may be steady state, hilly, and include pickups and/or cut downs.

Contact info:
Email: RunGRinfo@gmail.com
Website: www.RunGR.com
Strava: RunGR
Instagram: @RunGRclub
Facebook: RunGR

WestSide Stride

If you love running, you might also love food. I’m not saying all runners love to eat, but I would say it’s true of many of us. All are welcome to run or walk and enjoy some food and/or beer on Bridge Street after the run. Group leader, Jessica Slaydon said, “Running is something very special. You’re only in competition with yourself and can do it anywhere. There’s always someone new to meet and beer to drink.” Living life to the fullest can start on our own streets. Jessica further explained, “The WestSide Stride not only helps patrons achieve their personal fitness goals but also has a huge impact in our community by supporting local businesses.”

Where:
Swift Printing’s parking lot (404 Bridge Street NW)
(Parking donated by Swift Printing to WestSide Stride Patrons.) 

When:
Every Tuesday, April- October (once a month Nov- March) @ 6pm mingle, 6:15pm start

Run distance:
2 miles – 5k

Group Type:
Free to run, drop-ins welcome (food is available after but is not free)
(After you attend ten times in a season you receive a free WestSide Stride shirt. Must sign waiver before first run.)

Paces:
All paces welcome. Jessica said, “We do have a niche of people who do run to run swiftly, but we also have a lot of walkers and everyone in between.”

Type of run:
Social group run

Contact Info:
Jessica Slaydon, 616-915-5370 
Facebook: WestSide Stride

White Pine Moving Mamas

Mama’s gotta run. White Pine Moving Mamas was started by neighborhood moms in Rockford, MI training for the River Bank 25k. The group now includes triathletes, endurance athletes, and everyone in between. Let group leader Kehly Hales know when it’s your birthday and she will whip up a special workout!

Where: 
Rockford, MI (120 Gaylord Drive, Rockford)

When:
Tuesday nights, 7:15pm, Saturday mornings, 6am

Run distance:
2-10 miles depending on the group

Group Type:
Free running group for mamas and mamas-to-be

Paces:
Various

Type of run:
Social group runs and occasional speed and hill workouts

Contact info:
Kehly Hales, request to join White Pine Moving Mamas on Facebook

Grand Rapids Running Club

The Grand Rapids Running Club has been a staple of the running community for many years. Their mentor program for Grand Rapids’ most prestigious event, Amway Riverbank Run 25k (also the US Championship 25k) began in the late 1980s. GRRC has a series of 6 races they put on during the year. You can find those events listed here

Where: 
John Ball Park Zoo (at the south end of the main parking lot by the entrance to the zoo)

When:
Saturday and Sunday at 8am

Run distance:
Varies

Group Type:
Free Mentor Training Group (Specifically geared toward Amway Riverbank 25k)
Annual Membership $25/ annual (includes discounts to race series, discount to Striders and The Runnery, newsletter, and more)

Paces:
All are welcome

Type of run:
Varies

Contact info:
Email: mentorgroup@grandrapidsrunningclub.org
Website: http://grandrapidsrunningclub.org/
Facebook: Grand Rapids Running Club

Kalamazoo Area Runners

With more than 950 members, Kalamazoo Area Runners (KAR) is one of the largest running clubs in the State of Michigan.  

Where: 
Battle Creek & Kalamazoo

When:
Varies. Please see www.kalamazooarearunners.org  for more details.

Run distance:
Varies. Please see www.kalamazooarearunners.org  for more details.

Group Type:
Membership $25/month, $35/household (training runs allow drop-in)

Paces:
Various

Type of run:
Various

Contact info:
Email: membership@kalamazooarearunners.org
Website: www.kalamazooarearunners.org 

Holland Running Club

The HRC was instrumental in getting the City of Holland named as a Runner Friendly Community from the RRCA. Holland, MI boasts having the largest municipal snowmelt system in the country. It continues to grow and there are now over 5 miles of snow free sidewalks to run in the wintertime. It was featured in Runner’s World Magazine.

Where:
Mondays from Big Lake Brewing (13 W 7th St, Holland, MI 49423)
Thursdays from Waverly Stone in the winter, various the rest of the year (20 W 8th St, Holland, MI 49423)
Saturdays from Courtyard Marriott in winter, various the rest of the year (121 E 8th St, Holland, MI 49423)

When:
Mondays from Big Lake Brewing at 6pm
Thursdays from Waverly Stone (or alt) at 6pm
Saturdays from Courtyard Marriott (or alt) at 8am (7am June, July, and August)
Calendar is on Facebook, request to join.

Run Distance:
Monday and Thursday runs are around 4 miles with availability to shorten/extend the routes to meet every runner’s needs. Water provided at start/finish. Saturday morning runs are longer out and back 10-16 mile routes (5-8 miles out and then return) so the runner can run as much or as little of the route as they desire. Water provided at start/finish and at 2 mile intervals.

Type of Group:
The Holland Running Club (HRC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit founded in 2014. We are a Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) affiliate. Yearly memberships are $20. The HRC currently has over 250 members.

Type of run/pace:
All paces are welcome.

Contact Info:
https://www.hollandrunningclub.org/

Other Mentions

Striders Group Runs

Where:
Striders Grandville (4045 Chicago DR SW Grandville, MI 49418)

When:
Wednesdays at Striders at 6pm
Saturdays at Striders at 8am

Group type:
Free, drop-in

Type of run:
Easy runs, occasional workouts

Contact info:
https://www.stridersrun.com/run-groups

West Michigan Trail Runners

When/Where:
Various, reviews of trails can be found on their website

Group Type:
Free (create membership on website below)

Run Type:
Trail run

Contact info:
https://westmichigantrailrunners.org/

Run Muskegon

Where:
Wednesday from Run Pigeon Hill Brewing Company (500 W. Western, Muskegon)
Saturday morning (varies, join Facebook group for details)

When:
Wednesday night, 6pm (Go for a run and then join us for a post-run social hour at Pigeon Hill Brewing Company!)
Saturday morning, (varies, join Facebook group for details)

Run distance:
Varies

Group Type:
Free, drop-in

Paces:
Varies

Type of run:
Group run

Contact info:
Email: runmuskegon@gmail.com
Website: https://www.runmkg.com/contact.html
Facebook: Run Muskegon 

The Power of Community

Community is one of our regular topics because we believe there is power in coming together. While a solo experience can settle our thoughts and emotions, a shared experience can expand our thoughts and emotions. Arguably, we all need some of both to stay healthy in our lives and in the sport of running. 

We’ve discussed thriving in the running community on our A to Z Running Podcast. Running with one of these groups will certainly add to your running experience. We also give tips for finding running partners, one of which is joining one of these groups above.  As many of the group leaders shared above, some vibrant friendships can come from sharing a run. Side-by-side, mile after mile, a run can help grow relationship and trust. 

Another way to connect with community is at races. When we write about getting more from your race experience, we include factors of community and running for a group or cause. Many of the groups above have racing teams you can inquire about once you get connected. Some of them also host races which is another great way to get involved in the running community.

Finally, one of the groups I run with is a Parents’ Running Group. In this article, I write about how you can create your own, but I do not advise making these types of groups public.One other way to help you stay connected to community and grow your running this year is to subscribe to our FREE digest.


Interested in support and direction in your training? Our training and consultation services provide anything from a simple conversation to a completely customized training package. Not sure? You can always just reach out or post a comment below.

17 thoughts on “West Michigan Running Groups”

  1. Great List and great way to meet people to run and be social with. Side note The Grand Rapids Running Club (formally Grand Rapids Track Club) started the River Bank Run!! We would love for anyone to come and run with us, great to meet new people.

    1. Awesome! Thanks for sharing that fun fact. We appreciate Grand Rapids Running Club and the positive impact the group has on our sport and community!

  2. Mikkeller Running Club – Grand Rapids chapter! Check them out on Facebook and IG. First Saturday of the month @ The Sovengard: 5k followed by BEER!

    1. I didn’t either! Looking forward to continue to get to know more of the running community. We live in such a vibrant running area!

  3. I like your list although I was very disappointed to see you missed the north Kent running club which has been around for decades. Speed work Monday and Wednesday night at 6 p.m. year round.

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