This is copied from an article written by Dale Schwab (our founder, as the article explains) for Health & Fitness magazine in September 1995.
"People Who Run Downtown" is a casual group of runners that gather to enjoy running, socializing and other activities. It was started in Pittsburgh in 1986. The idea to start the group came to me in 1985 when I was on a job assignment in Detroit.
At that time I would go out and run by myself a few times a week. One Tuesday evening, I was driving to a park in Detroit called Belle Isle. As I entered the park, I saw about fifty runners running out of the park around 6:30 pm. I assumed it was a running group that met there every week.
The following Tuesday I left work early to try to join them. When I arrived I discovered I was one of a few runners in the park. The group I saw the week before was not there!
The next day I saw an article in the local newspaper about a running group that meets at different restaurants in the city every Tuesday at 5:30 pm. It also gave a listing for Tuesdays of the following month and a phone number to call for more information. So the next day I called to find out where the next run was located and directions on how to get to there. The next week I went to that location and finally hooked up with the Tuesday night runners. They were a great group of people and I had a good time.
When I returned to Pittsburgh I continued running with my friend Jan Kerrigan and was telling her about the group in Detroit. We decided that Pittsburgh needed a group like that. Together we were able to contact local restaurant owners and set up a schedule to start the group.
The first run was in April of 1986. We told the restaurant owner of our first meeting place (Chuckers) to expect fifteen to twenty runners. He laid out a table of food for that many people to get our new group under way. When Tuesday came, so did a thunder storm. The only people who showed up for the first run were Jan, her future husband, Ron, and me.
When the three of us came back from the run, we were drenched. We felt bad that the restaurant owner went out of his way for only three runners but to our surprise he was very understanding. He thought our running group was a good idea and told us to stick with it. Well we did and now we get anywhere between forty to fifty runners and walkers on Tuesday, and it is still growing.
"People Who Run Downtown" is a running, jogging, walking and talking group. Each Tuesday - rain or shine - people meet at 5:45 pm and begin their walk or run at 6:00 pm. Back at the start/finish line, the "People Who Run Downtown" meet for refreshments, dinner and fun. Best of all, membership is free and the group has a wide range of runners so it is easy to find someone your speed to run or walk with.
From our Tuesday night organization, we have many spin-off groups. One does speed work Wednesday nights in Oakland and one does long runs over the weekend. We also get together for biking and other activities.
About twice a year the group travels to other races. Last year it was Boston for the marathon and in the fall several of us took the train to Chicago for their marathon. This year we are going to Falmouth and Philadelphia for a half marathon.
Basically, you could say that this group is about running and having a good time doing it. We always look forward to seeing new faces. For more information,