Are your jogging shoes gathering dust in the closet because you don't know where to run? Running is not only good for you, but it can be good for your self-confidence and social life as well. Running in numbers is safer, can spark your competitive spirit, improve your times and distances and be a terrific new way to meet people.
How then can you break into this sport? It is easy! Last fall I was hiking in Fontenelle Forest in Eastern Nebraska and noticed an approaching hiker was wearing the same Bolder Boulder shirt that I was from a race the previous Spring in Colorado. If you see someone wearing a race shirt asks them about it or look it up on the Internet. Runners accumulate shirts so if you keep your eye open you will certainly see one.
Do you have a favorite charity? Make a call or request some of their literature. Many charities use races for fundraisers and to increase awareness for their cause. A great example of this is the Susan G. Komen foundation. Their Race for the Cure shirts with the pink ribbon is a common sight, especially in October which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Mixing work and play is not always a good idea but in the case of races many larger corporations sponsor races or host races as part of their employee wellness or team building programs. Check with your human resources office to see if your company does this. If not, ask if they are interested in doing so. You might initiate something that you really enjoy and get brownie points for it too.
Runners often do more than just run to stay in shape so another great way to find local races is to scout out your gym. Often gyms and fitness clubs have bulletin boards with upcoming events listed on them and frequently gyms sponsor races as well. Many YMCA's sponsor races across the country. Even if you are not a member stop in and ask them about any upcoming races they may be planning or check their website for local events.
Local newspapers that have a community or activity section can be very useful in finding races in your area. Flyers are widely used to advertise local races. Grocery stores are a good place to look for them but shoe stores that carry running shoes are a great place to look for flyers. My local shoe store is a good place for not only running shoes but advice about running and local races.
Many cities have local running clubs. To see if your city has a local running club check with the Chamber of Commerce or the Parks and Recreation Department. Local running clubs will have the inside scoop on local races as well as races in nearby areas as well.
There are also a few easy to use websites devoted to running that have search features that enable you to search for local races such as www.coolrunning.com, www.active.com and www.runtheplanet.com
Now that you know how to find local races you can lace up your running shoes and hit the pavement.