It looks like the group was created by Danielle in 2013. Are you the main contact now and do you set up all the meetings?
Yep that’s right, created in February of 2013. Danielle left toward the end of the year and turned the group over to me, and I’ve been organizing since then. At first we just did Pittock Mansion on Saturdays, but over time we started branching out to all over the park, and then Tuesday evenings followed shortly after. There’s always been a connection with the Portland brewery scene, and we love hitting up new breweries as they pop up around town (main requirement is that we can get to the waterfront from the brewery).
Are all meetings set in the MeetUp app? Is the limit usually set up around 30 runners? If so, why?
I actually don’t use the meetup app, because it’s just not really great for that honestly. I use a desktop web browser, and either Strava or http://www.mappedometer.com to map out runs. For Forest Park trails, I usually plot out turn-by-turn directions and print them on stickers that runners can use as a guide.
The group has grown large enough that I’ve started to feel guilty about how many people I bring onto the trails at one time, so I’ve set the limit to 32 (somewhat arbitrarily) to help keep things manageable. In addition, we also now have a reliable early morning run that helps spread things out a bit. I don’t set a limit on the waterfront/brewery runs though.
Have there been any usual stories about the group you’d like to share? Have any long-term relationships been built from the group?
Over the years I’ve seen many friendship circles form, which is a really satisfying aspect of managing the group beyond just the exercise. I’ve met so many great people along the way as well. I met one guy who shares an interest in international travel, and we go on yearly trips all over the world. I met another guy who I ended up going to Alaska with, and many others who I’ve spent time with outside of the running group, and it’s just been such a wonderful experience. Trail runners often share other similar interests, so it’s been really cool to see runners meet and go pursue other outside activities together, like rock climbing, cycling, and kayaking. The group has been such a big part of my life over the years, and I’m definitely looking forward to hanging out with all of them for many more!