Go the Distance With These Five Boston Run Clubs

Itching to get moving after cheering on your favorite marathoners? Find the run club that’s right for you.

Illustration by Jeannie Phan

For fun
Boston Midnight Runners

Glowsticks, heart-pumping music, and a crowd that’s ready to party: No, it’s not a hot new nightclub, it’s one of Midnight Runners’ nighttime outings. The Boston chapter of this global group invites fitness buffs onto the streets for free 10K “boot camp” runs every Tuesday at 7 p.m., no matter the season. Worried you won’t be able to keep up with the night owls? Have no fear: Leaders keep the energy high with burpees and squats right on the sidewalk.


For community
November Project

Come for the running, stay for the hundreds of new friends you’ll make. Launched in 2011 by former Northeastern rowers Brogan Graham and Bojan Mandaric as a way to motivate themselves during the bleak winter months, November Project is now a worldwide phenomenon that brings together people of all ability levels, from Olympians to fitness novices. Free to the public, the “tribe” meets bright and early three days a week at places such as Harvard Stadium to climb stairs, log miles, and hug more strangers than you ever thought possible.


For expert guidance
The Heartbreakers

Who better to help improve your race time than one of the most in-demand marathon coaches in Boston? Led by Heartbreak Hill Running Company cofounder Dan Fitzgerald, this group helps amateur runners push their training to the next level with coached speed workouts and fun runs around the city, most of which are open to the community. If you’re looking for something a little more intensive, become a member and get access to advanced training programs, weekly Q & A sessions with coaches, and more.


For serious training
The Trackhouse

A one-stop shop for ace runners, the Trackhouse, Tracksmith New England’s Newbury Street HQ, is the spot to browse top-notch performance apparel, catch up with other athletes in the lounge, and take advantage of free training sessions designed for anyone looking to get faster. Timed speed runs depart from the Trackhouse every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., while endurance-based tempo workouts leave at the same time and place on Thursdays. Weekends, meanwhile, are for long runs. When the weather’s fine, dip your toes into the rooftop ice bath afterward.


For happy hour
Somerville Road Runners

Need a little motivation to pick up the pace? An ice-cold beer waiting for you at the finish line should do the trick. This nonprofit athletic and social organization hosts gratis fun runs every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday night that begin and end at different bars around the area. But it’s not all fun and games: Those looking for more instruction can purchase an annual membership for coaching, track workouts, and discounted running gear.