A Quick Guide to Charleston’s Top Running Clubs

The Charleston Running Club is just one of the organizations that has helped grow running in the city.
The Charleston Running Club is just one of the organizations that has helped grow running in the city. Susan Smith
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Charleston’s running and racing scene has developed into one of the liveliest in the southeast. The running community here has established extremely fun, highly successful races while developing a closely knit network of runners and race enthusiasts. It seems that every weekend brings a new race series, from themed 5k’s like the Floppin’ Flounder, to endurance races like the Wambaw Swamp Stomp 50 miler. It’s very easy to become associated with one or all of the running clubs here in the city. Check out the list below if you want to join a club with active members who truly care about providing Charleston’s running community with the best races and running events.

Onshore Racing

Racers prepare to chug at the Beer Mile hosted by Onshore Racing
Racers prepare to chug at the Beer Mile hosted by Onshore Racing Elizabeth Gerkin

Onshore Racing is known for hosting events like The Beer Mile, during which you chug a beer in between each quarter mile (it’s awesome), and the May Day Marathon, where it’s cool to dress like Batman and run 26 miles. It has earned a reputation as one of the most fun clubs in Charleston, running specific and in general. A fair amount of their events are unsanctioned, or “guerrilla-style” races, which adds to the fun of the experience.

Participating in an event put on by OSR will make you feel like you’ve just met up with the neighborhood crew to go for a fun run and a beer at the local tavern afterwards, because that's exactly what happens after almost every race.

Charleston Running Club

The Charleston Running Club helped create the city's biggest event, the Cooper River Bridge Run.
The Charleston Running Club helped create the city's biggest event, the Cooper River Bridge Run. Susan Smith

The Charleston Running Club was instrumental in creating the Cooper River Bridge Run, which brings tens of thousands of people to the city every year. The race has become one of the most anticipated races in the area. This club is highly organized, and it is definitely the largest, most established club in the city. The CRC hosts a slew of annual races that range from 5k’s to marathons, and it encourages every type of runner to become a member and join in on the fun.

Eagle Endurance

The Francis Marion Dirt Dash trail race is just one organized by Eagle Endurance.
The Francis Marion Dirt Dash trail race is just one organized by Eagle Endurance. Eagle Endurance

Eagle Endurance specializes in bringing endurance races to the Southeast. The group is small, works closely together, and puts on very organized distance races, ranging from 10k’s to 100 milers. Eagle Endurance is based in Charleston, but it organizes races all across the lowcountry. If you've been thinking about trying an endurance race, our advice would be to get in contact with Chad Hoffa of Eagle Endurance and join his club. This is a great organization to be apart of for beginners and veterans of long-distance running alike.

Red Balloon Running Club

If you enjoy noncompetitive running as part of a large group, look into Red Balloon Running Club . This club was started out of pure enjoyment of the sport and has gained some serious momentum in the past couple of years. The meetups are always in scenic, fun places, and there is nearly always a plan to grab some food and drinks after an event. This club does not host any organized races, just fun, high-intensity group runs. Red Balloon boasts a great atmosphere, perfect for the easy going enthusiast that is just stoked on running.

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