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Best Running Club 

Lake Merritt Joggers and Striders, Oakland

The East Bay's hands-down best running club is the Lake Merritt Joggers and Striders. Organized in 1977, this nonprofit, all-volunteer club embodies a collaborative spirit and considers itself a community resource whose goal is to promote running as a means toward better health and fitness. Oakland-based LMJS does so by offering support and resources to all levels of runners. Most notably, the club (whose logo is ducks, not the speediest of mascots) organizes regular Fourth Sunday Runs — 5Ks, 10Ks, and 15Ks — around Lake Merritt, a landmark that served as the training grounds for the club's founders, who wanted to offer inexpensive regular runs over a fast, certified course. Walk-in registration starts near the Lake Merritt boathouse at 8:15 a.m. At 9:00, runners line up for one of three certified races: the 5K (once around the lake), the 10K (twice around), or the 15K (three times around). Some Sundays eliminate the 15K, but add an extra 5K walk (see web site for exact schedule). Youth races begin at 8:40. Billing itself as "The East Bay's Oldest Running Club," LMJS also sponsors club races (The Tilden Tough Ten), relays (Couples Relay, Time Is on Your Side Run, Tahoe Relays, Christmas Relays), training groups, and kids' races. To keep club members updated and in fine running form, LMJS issues e-mail bulletins and newsletters, schedules potlucks with guest speakers, and awards runners for their achievements. In short, this club has something to keep just about any kind of runner happy.
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)


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