Find new friends on the road – group runs and running clubs in Des Moines

One of the negatives of being a parent, firefighter, volunteer for everything under the sun, and IT worker is that sometimes you don’t get to meet a lot of people as you shuttle people to and fro from one activity to another or you are busy working in a group as soon you are done you have some place else to be. I was reminded of the joy of the communal aspect of running as I returned to the Capital Striders group run this week after many weeks off due to injury. I met many of my old acquaintances today and once again felt as part of the community. To that end, I wanted to make a listing of all the other opportunities to meet other runners in Des Moines.

The first and foremost way to meet other runners is to join Capital Striders. No other group promotes running as much as this group in Des Moines. From their promoting of races, annual potluck meetings, or coordinating groups runs, if you want to support communal running in Des Moines, visiting their website is the first step. Another way to commune with other runners is to find the places they’ll be. If they aren’t training, they are racing. The best race calendar for Iowa has to be Fitness Sports website’s race calendar.

Area Group Runs: (listed first are the ones you’ll likely find me — for better or for worse)

  • Capital Striders Spring/Summer Saturday morning group runs — if you want more information, send a note to It currently starts at 7:30 am and departs from Drake University’s Meredith Hall.
  • Running Room – the new running store in West Des Moines (6305 Mills Civic Parkway) – holds a group run every Wednesday 6pm and Sunday morning 8:30 am.
  • 04/01 – Curt and Nancy Hoegh start the C.S. Beginning Running Groups for this year in Clive at Campbell Park at 6 PM
  • In the fall, The Body Project trainer Tim Ives has coordinated a Thursday night training group (June 22 through October 12) at Ashby Park in Beaverdale for the Des Moines Marathon.
  • Thursday Zimm’s Run — Leave at 6:15 p.m. from Zimm’s Food and Spirits at 3124 Ingersoll. About a 6-mile loop on Grand and Ingersoll.
    Denny Wheeler, 255-6951
  • Sunday Greenbelt Run — Meet 8:00 a.m. at the east trail head of the Clive Trail on 86th Street (behind the Grease Monkey). About 10 miles out and back. Pace is 6:30- to 8:15-minute miles.
  • There are number of outside Des Moines group run possibilities at the Fitness Sports website.

I hope this post goes a long ways to dispelling the loneliness myth of the long distance runner at least in Des Moines. For with this schedule, if you can’t find a group to run with you aren’t looking hard enough. And if you are like me, you get enough of the inner self-talk when you run by yourself that having someone else around to distract you on a training run with conversation is a blessing.

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0 Responses to Find new friends on the road – group runs and running clubs in Des Moines

  1. Bob Allen says:

    Bowulf — Great idea to research all the running groups in a given area. I’ll have to check out the possibilities in Richmond and post what I find on my blog. I see you’re on a quest to lose 200# — how is that going? I know losing weight can be really tough.

  2. Kent A says:

    Actually the quest for 200# lost has been conquered… I lost 211 pounds about 3 years ago, and so far they have shown no sign of returning. Now if only running a BQ-qualifying marathon time was as easy… 🙂

  3. Bob Allen says:

    Glad the pounds haven’t returned. That puts you in a select minority of folks who are really successful at losing weight. I think that minority is made up of those who change their lifestyle and look at health as a lifelong quest rather than those who are looking for a silver bullet quick fix.

  4. Nancy says:

    Bob – That would definitely be our Kent. He has the commitment. 😀 You rock, Kent.

    This is a great post. Am I just a big anti-social schmuck or what? I’ve never done any of these. Although there is the minor detail that Dr. Hoegh is my ob/gyn and has done my D&C. That seems like it might be weird, but I would love to do their beginner group. He is such a great guy. The others, I’m afraid I would still be running by the time they were home and had their breakfast. 😀

    Hope you are well. I just put the trash out and it was SNOWING!!! Unbelievable.

  5. Kent A says:

    I agree that might be a bit awkward. It’s like ignore everything you seen before, but I am sure he gets that wherever he goes. I am sure I have a few docs that I wouldn’t want to socialize due to past experiences with them. I hope I get my newly running daughter out there with me once her time with Heartland Youth choir is over. She and her mom run Saturday mornings with the Capital Striders group (or near them)… She is up to 3 minutes running to 1 minute walking up to 5 miles. I am not sure what that equates to in minutes per miles, but she is pretty dedicated to it. It’s amazing what a little bribery can do. 🙂

    I agree about the snow that was just cruel and unusual punishment.

  6. Marc Q says:


  7. Great article. I believe that running is essential in weight loss!