Each Wednesday, dozens of people gather on the 200 block of Front Street after work ready to work out. Some arrive pushing a stroller, others with a dog leash in hand. Runners and walkers of all ages and abilities come together for a weekly run throughout downtown Marietta as part of the Downtown Rub Club (DTRC).
Launched this April, DTRC is an open invitation running club. The idea is simple: Downtown Run Club is for people who like to be outside and around people. Organizers recommend participants “bring shoes, strollers, dogs, or whatever and we’ll provide the route, the music, and the laughs.” After a two or three-mile run, participants meet up to socialize over drinks, food, and often live music. The club has quickly become a favorite weekly activity for participants, many of whom have made new friends through the meet-ups.
“The goal was to create an active community working out downtown, seeing more of the city on foot, and patronizing local businesses afterward,” said Andy Kuhn, a regular runner and tenant at IncSwell, DTRC’s home base. “Everyone who wants to get out and enjoy the sunshine and be active is encouraged to join in. There is no set timetable as runners and walkers of different spaces filter into the after-party.”
It’s great to see how this club has brought such a wide age spectrum together.
Each week, participants have a choice between a two-mile and three-mile run. “The two-mile run/walk is geared more for those who are toting children or dogs or who just want a more relaxed pace,” said Kuhn. “The three-miler is for those looking to get more of a workout in. We have a good number of people doing each.”
The group is managed by Alaina Perry who selects the routes each week and coordinates with the after-party venue. “The community has really embraced this effort,” said Perry. She loves to see runners of all ages get to know each other through DTRC. “I run weekly with my neighbor (in his 50s) while my seven-year-old nephew bikes next to us. It’s great to see how this club has brought such a wide age spectrum together,” she said. “Although I’ve lived in Marietta nearly three years prior to Run Club, I had never had a meaningful conversation with my neighbor and now I know about his kids and his line of work. We have another couple training for a half marathon (with their three kids in tow) and it’s nice to hear about their weekly progress.”
Downtown Rub Club presents a great opportunity to meet other people in a non-threatening atmosphere and enjoy some of the perks of our downtown restaurant and bar scene.
Since its launch in April, the club has steadily grown in ranks. “We’ve had more parents join in who enjoy taking their kids in strollers and relaxing with other young families,” said Andy. Most weeks, the club ends up on the newly renovated outdoor patio at the Townhouse, though they’ve also wrapped up at IncSwell’s back patio, Over the Moon Pizza & Pub, and Boathouse BBQ in Harmar. Tomorrow’s run – “Miles to Margaritas” – will end at Tampico Mexican Restaurant on Second Street.
Kuhn believes groups like DTRC are important to small communities like Marietta for creating strong social infrastructure. “Vibrant communities present options for all ages and all levels of fitness,” said Kuhn. “Downtown Rub Club presents a great opportunity to meet other people in a non-threatening atmosphere and enjoy some of the perks of our downtown restaurant and bar scene.”
Those interested are invited to meet in front of 204 Front Street at 5:30 p.m. – strollers, pets, and dad bods are encouraged!