Over the last few years, there has been a core group of us who've gravitated together, not only for running, but for breakfast afterward. And then we started doing races together, with our first really big race being the Houston half marathon in January of 2015. We traveled well together, which is not always the easiest thing with a group, but we made it work and had a great time. So we kept doing more and more races and racecations together, and although we joined USAFit last summer, we still mostly ran with our core group.
Our name came about during that time; the routes would be posted for the Saturday runs, and one or more of our group would ask me to come up with an alternate route, so I did, and I started naming them "renegade" 6 miler (or whatever the distance). Cristy picked up on that name and started calling us the renegades, and that stuck, so when we made shirts for the 2016 Houston half marathon, that was the name we chose to go along with the design.
USAFit stops meeting after their goal race, which is in December, but our group runs year-round, which continued to strengthen our bond. So this year, it made sense for us to not join them because at this point, we've all been running long enough that we could come up with a training schedule on our own, which we did. We also didn't feel the need to pay quite so much to belong to a running group - USAFit is a great organization and I give it a lot of credit for getting me to my first half marathon and beyond, but I think that as our core group grew together, we didn't need the support of our former running group.
While we could have continued to meet at the park where we've been starting our runs from for years, we didn't want to interfere with our former running group. As luck would have it, Cary and Brian live really close to that park, so they offered up their garage as our new clubhouse, I redid our running routes to reflect starting from that point, and we were set. We collected a nominal fee from everyone to cover water and Gatorade, along with some other essentials, and it's been working out great. We set out water along our route, and usually Loretta is also out there taking care of us via her bicycle. And afterward, we hang out at the clubhouse; we store our folding chairs and yoga mats there, so it's very comfortable to sit and stretch and cool down.
Because we mesh so well together, we aren't really open to letting anyone else in, which has been interesting, because while we've been out doing our long runs, people have asked about joining us, more than once. It's weird to say "no, you can't run with us" so instead we're saying that we're just a group of friends who are running together...which we are - just pay no attention when you see us wearing shirts that say Renegade Run Club. We've got a good thing going, and I think we all want to protect it.
Here's a collage I threw together, showing some of the races we've done together:
Renegade Run Club. My peeps. Good times, fun times, and much more of that to come!