As society returns more and more from coronavirus quarantine, one West Valley running club is coming back as well, and with a new approach.
Tortoise and Hare Sports, located in Arrowhead Gateway at 17570 N. 75th Ave., Suite 605, Glendale, is a running store specializing in athletic footwear and accessories, but is also home to The Tortoise and Hare Squad. As the name implies, both the shop and its companion club encourage participants to embrace their own pace, be it a tortoise or hare.
Like most everything else, the running club -- which numbers almost 700 in its headquartered Facebook group -- stopped in its tracks in March. Regular gatherings and running events, both in Peoria and Glendale, came to a halt.
That all changes next month.
The club was formerly known as the Tortoise and Hare Run Club, but shop owners Rebecca and Nathan Hohenstein used the downtime to take a different look at the group’s potential.
“We have runners, we have walkers, we have pickleball players, we have CrossFit’ers, we have gym goers. It’s not just runners who participate in our events,” Rebecca said Sept. 16. “It’s not just runners who even identify. We just wanted to make it more inclusive.”
Events return in October, and the club is free and open to anyone.
The weekly Arrowhead Loop Run is back. Club members, as they did pre-coronavirus, will meet at 5:30 a.m. every Thursday in the Safeway parking lot at 67th Avenue and the 101, to tackle the 4-mile loop. That returns Thursday, Oct. 1.
Another weekly run sees club members meet at 6:30 a.m. every Saturday at the shop in Arrowhead Gateway, for a run that goes anywhere from 3 to 6 miles. That one returns Saturday, Oct. 3.
Also next month, the club will host its annual Monster Mash & Dash on Wednesday, Oct. 21. The holiday event challenges families to compete together by running to up to 20 different locations in an hour’s time to find clues as a Halloween scavenger hunt.
The club previously had hosted weekly track workouts from September through May on the campus track at Sunrise Mountain High School, 21200 N. 83rd Ave., Peoria. The club, however, is waiting for schools to manage returning to in-person learning before working with Peoria Unified School District to resume those workouts.
Going on five years as a club, the Tortoise and Hare Squad also hosts free 5K, 10K and half-marathon training.
Look for the group on Facebook, stop by the shop, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.