BY Scott Ludwig
Tired of running the same old 5K or 10K year after year? Need something to put the spark back into your running? Looking for something a little bit…more?
If so, look no further than the Darkside Running Club.
Based in Georgia, the Darkside Running Club (founded December 2001) boasts membership in ten states, with the majority of our members living in the Fayette County area, about 45 minutes by car (300 minutes by foot—trust me, I know this) south of Atlanta.
The Darksiders share several principles: a passion for running, a desire to stay in marathon (or more) shape year round, competition, camaraderie/pushing one another to excel, a keen sense of humor, dedication, not taking ourselves seriously, a love of marathons (and beyond), and the belief that nothing is outside the realm of possibility.
On the running resumes of our members you will find:
- State age group record holders in a variety of distances.
- Course record holders in a variety of distances.
- Members of the ’50 States + D.C.’ club (a marathon or more in every state plus D.C.).
- Members with over 100 lifetime marathons (four at last count).
- A member with over 200 lifetime marathons and/or ultras (218 at last count, and he’s only 19!).
- Four finishers of the world’s toughest ultra—Badwater (135 miles through Death Valley)!
- Many members (too many to count) with 100-mile (or longer) runs.
- A member who ran across the state of Georgia for charity (280 miles in six days).
- National champions at various ultra distances.
- A ‘streaker’ who has run every day for 26 years (and still going strong).
The base population of the Darkside run together throughout the week, and our weekly Sunday run of 20+ miles starting at Huddleston Elementary School in Peachtree City (6:30 a.m. June through October, 7:00 a.m. November through May) helps us maintain our year-round marathon readiness. Out of state members stay in contact via E-mail, telephone, and our quarterly newsletter (‘Absolutely True…Tales from the Darkside’) featuring race results, race reviews, a photo gallery, profiles of our members, and articles on every (running) topic under the sun. In my opinion, the newsletter is the best in the business. One nice thing about our club—if you’re looking for someone to go to a race with (preferably a marathon or an ultra), you’ll find them. Actually, you’re more apt to find several!
The Darkside Running Club holds two annual events: the Peachtree City 50K and the Darkside 8-Hour Run. The former, in only its third year of existence, will be hosting the USATF National 50K Road Championship on November 14. $3000 in prize money is available to the top five men and women finishers. The race begins at 7:30 a.m. and starts at (you guessed it) Huddleston Elementary School. Applications are available on our website:www.darksiderunningclub.com
Our 8-Hour Run is held around Memorial Day, although the date changes from year to year.
We also lend our assistance to a couple local events, the Huddleston Hustle 5K (third Saturday in April) and the Panther Prowl 5K (third Friday in August), both held in our ‘home base,’ Peachtree City.
So, if you’re tired of running the same old 5K or 10K year after year, need something to put the spark back into your running, and are looking for something a little bit more, look no further than the Darkside Running Club. A membership (applications are available on our website) entitles you to the four quarterly issues of our newsletter (by the way, all members are automatically on our writing staff), reduced entry fees to our two annual events, and accomplishing things you thought were beyond the realm of possibility.
Do yourself a favor, and cross over…to the Darkside.