All of the club’s runs and walks are open to all. You do not need to be a member to join us. Just show up at the start location and join the run.
We are a running club and refer to the events as “runs”. On the other hand, we have a very active group who prefer to walk. In addition, we have a group (The BFF group - Best Foot Forward) that does a run/walk. To encourage runners, walkers and run/walkers, we use the term “run/walk”. Our weekend events include a course for all three groups.
With nearly 1000 members, you can be sure to find other members who run at your pace. Whether you are a runner, walker, or run/walker (The BFF group), no one gets left behind.
We make every effort to encourage new runners to join us. Our BFF group is particularly well suited for people who are just getting into running or those who might not be sure how far or fast they can go. The BFF group does a mix of running and walking and the leaders make sure no one gets left behind. If you feel you’d rather run the entire distance, there will usually be runners at your pace.
The club has members who run at a wide range of paces. As a result, the group spreads out during the course of a run. You don’t need to keep up with anyone. Odds are good that you’ll find one or more runners at your pace, particularly on the beautiful spring mornings when there’s a big crowd.
So far, we have never lost a runner or walker – at least not permanently. Most of the weekday run/walks are on the W&OD so you won’t get lost there. Directions and maps for the weekend runs are on the web page. But despite great effort to make them precise, they can be hard to follow while running. The Saturday courses are usually marked (thanks to volunteers) so if you are paying attention, and rain did not wash away the arrows, you probably won’t get lost. In addition, on Saturday, odds are good there will be someone near your speed who knows the course. Sunday can be more of a challenge. Those courses are usually not marked and in a 10-mile span, people can get more spread out. The best option is to bring the directions and try to keep pace with someone on the first few times on a course. Or learn the course. Or wing it. We have some members who after years in the club have not learned the courses and enjoy the challenge.
We are a hardy group so there are usually runners who show up regardless of the weather. Also, it would be nearly impossible to get in touch with people on short notice to tell them that an event is canceled. For that reason, we do not officially cancel our routine scheduled events. (We have rescheduled some of our special events.) Participation in any club is at your discretion, so we do not encourage you to come out if you think getting to the start (or running on ice) would be too dangerous. Also, if the weather is really bad, we don’t guarantee that anyone will be there and can’t promise that the volunteers who put out water will make it.
You don’t need any special gear or clothes. A lot of people run with a GPS but many do not. On hot days, people tend to carry water, even though water is provided on our weekend runs. You can wear whatever you are comfortable wearing.
While you can join our run/walks without being a member, we encourage those who participate regularly to join the club. At $15/year, it is not much to ask. We do need funds to operate. Plus, there are other benefits to membership besides having company when you run.
We want everyone who runs with us to feel that they are part of an organization, not just meeting with a bunch of strangers. And after many years, we’ve found that when people feel like they belong, they are more likely to participate. But in addition to this soft benefit, there are some tangible benefits. Members receive a weekly newsletter, called eNews, informing them of club activities. Only members (and family) are invited to participate in club events which incur expenses, such as the annual meeting and the pool party. Significantly, several local establishments, such as Potomac River Running, Vapianos, Fusion 360, and the YMCA offer discounts to club members.
Reston Runners is primarily a group of people who have a common interest in running and staying healthy. But we are more than just an ad hoc group. We are an affiliate member of the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) and a chartered 501(c)(3) organization. Members of Reston Runners are also members of RRCA.
Reston Runners is formally run by an unpaid board of directors, which consists of 9 members who are elected by the club membership annually. While we do have a board that is “in charge” the vast majority of club activities and events would not be possible without the voluntary participation of club members. Many of our events happen only because one or more members decide that it should happen and then, with board concurrence, they make it happen.
Including multiple members of families, Reston Runners has about 1000 members. Our members include people from every age group and demographic. While most of our members live in the greater Reston area, we have several out-of-state members who regularly participate in some of our events.
Reston Runners relies exclusively on volunteers to make all the events and activities successful. Water is provided, trails are marked, web pages are updated, eNews is sent, events are organized and executed, permits are requested, records are maintained, equipment and supplies are purchased, bills are paid. There is a lot to do and all are welcome to pitch in. Watch the web page for opportunities to get involved. Also ask around, particularly ask any one of the board members how you might be able to help.
The club’s mainstay is our weekly group run/walks. We schedule runs and walks year-round on Saturdays and Sundays. The Saturday runs starts at 8 AM all year while the Sunday run starts at 8 AM during the winter and 7 AM during the summer. The start locations are posted on our webpage calendar.
We also have scheduled run/walks events at various times and locations. These vary depending upon demand. They too can be found on the calendar.
In addition to scheduled events, Reston Runners provides an occasional special-event run. These events rely on volunteers so they vary somewhat over the course of a year. Watch the web page and eNews for notice on these events.
After each weekend morning run, the group convenes at a local restaurant for breakfast. The club has many social events including an annual meeting/dinner, a pool party, and holiday party. In addition to these regular activities, club members periodically arrange a Happy Hour, at which people meet and drink. The leaders of various club activities and events often schedule social events for the volunteers. As with any organization, people get to know each other and make social arrangements with others.
Our primary communication is via our website and our eNews. The website, which is updated almost daily, contains our schedule, including course maps, as well as information about all of our activities. eNews is sent out weekly to club members. Information is also provided in announcements at the beginning of each run/walk.
Reston Runners has a sister organization, called the Reston Runners Community Fund, which collects money for charitable causes. RRCF is a separate 501(c)(3) organization, which for the past few years had awarded scholarships to 2 student athletes at both Herndon High School and South Lakes High School. The RRCF is the primary beneficiary of the proceeds from the Runners Marathon of Reston.
Our members also organize informally, but often en masse, to provide volunteers to local charitable running events.
We cannot allow unaccompanied children to run with the club. We have no specific rules but generally if a child is not old enough to drive themselves to the start, then they probably need an adult companion. Even with an adult companion, we discourage bringing children who are not old enough to take care of themselves.
We have no rules prohibiting the use of listening devices. If you wish, you may use them.
Can I bring my dog?
Sorry but we can’t have people running with dogs. It could get messy with 30 people running together with dogs on leashes. (Scenes from a comedy movie accept not funny in real life.) We have a couple of events each year where we allow people to bring their dogs to the start but those who do bring their dogs are asked to walk on that day.
Several of our members are RRCA-certified running instructors. These members, and others, volunteer their time for various programs which Reston Runners sponsors. Some of these programs have been institutionalized and are held every year. Others vary from year to year, depending upon interest of both volunteers and participates. These programs incur costs and are generally open to members and non-members alike so there are fees for participation. Details are provided in the Welcome letter and at the “About Us” link on the web page.
On Saturday mornings runners complete 5 miles, walkers complete 3 miles, and run/walkers (BFF group) vary depending upon the course 4 miles. Sunday runs are normally 10-miles with an occasional variation and an option for a longer distance. The Sunday walkers usually have options for either 3 miles or 6 miles. There are also options for morning and evening runs that vary in distance. Check out the Reston Runner’s Website for times and locations.