I started my running career again in 2010 and at that time I was doing all of my running by myself. It was great to be running again, but the camaraderie was missing I had in high school. I didn't get to celebrate any of my running successes with any teammates.
After I went another year of running alone, I decided to join the Kalamazoo Area Runners in 2012. All it costs is $20 to join their group for a year and then I continue to renew my membership for the same price each year. The one thing I like about being part of KAR is their championship series. Each year KAR has a certain number of races (this year 40) where if I run in them I get a certain number of points depending on how my time stacks up verses the winners time. I really like the competitive nature and we are split up into age groups as well so everyone has a chance. Another plus is most of the championship series races offer discounts.
Another big benefit is KAR offers weekly runs during the midweek where runners of all different levels can get together and do what they love, run. These runs are casual as everyone chats with each other while we run. These are nice easy, long mileage runs. My first year I was a member I did not have the chance to participate in these weekly runs because of my work schedule, but this year I made it a priority to partake in the midweek runs. I have made many friends and we always have a great time running together. I look forward to these runs every week.
I cannot stress enough how great it feels to be a member of KAR. My running times have dropped significantly, I have enjoyed running a whole lot more, have made many friends, and have enjoyed many of the socials and award ceremonies they have put together. KAR has over 1,000 members and we are the biggest running community in Michigan.
There are so many more benefits for being a member of KAR, but I cannot name them all on here. You will have to check out there website to learn about more of their benefits.