Downtown Runners LB is a club that checks all the boxes. It’s free to join, you can meet interesting new people, you can get discounts at local bars and restaurants, you can make charitable donations — and you can get some running miles in as well!

The club, which just celebrated its seventh anniversary, attracts an enthusiastic group of runners every Wednesday at 6:15 PM at a variety of Downtown bars and restaurants. It also convenes at the Daily Dose coffee shop at 440 Pine Ave. every Saturday at 7:15 AM. On both days, runners of all abilities are welcome. There are two courses to choose from: a 5K or a 5-miler. 

“I joke that Downtown Runners LB is a great social club for people who happen to run,” said club organizer Joaquin Nuñez as he and a big crowd of runners gathered at Beachwood Brewing on a recent Wednesday evening. “We get serious marathoners and triathletes, but we also get lots of casual runners. Some folks on Saturday walk the route. It’s a great way to meet new people.”  

Nuñez had been running with the group for about a year when the original founders of the club moved away. Nuñez took over shortly thereafter and has kept the club going for the last five years. Initially the club used Facebook, Meetup, and Strava to publicize itself. Now it mostly relies on Instagram (@downtownrunners_lb) and word of mouth. 

“It’s a very unique running environment because we have a classic Downtown Core but we’re also a beach community,” Nuñez continued. “You start off passing all these great buildings, then you’re on the water with perfect views of the Queen Mary. We’re fortunate that we have this kind of space to run in.” 

Nuñez has worked out deals with the club’s meeting establishments — such as extended happy hour pricing or beer discounts — which give runners extra incentive to hang out and socialize after their run. 

“We’ve met at The Ordinarie, Congregation Ale House, 123 Pho, Shannon’s, Anna’s Joint, The Carvery, and others,” said Nuñez. “Our range in Downtown is pretty broad, but we like to stay close to Pine Avenue and the parking structures nearby which offer two hours of free parking.”  

Nuñez recently partnered with Beachwood Brewing to create a club t-shirt. Proceeds from sales of the shirt went to four local charities. Several runners were wearing them this evening. 

Many newcomers joined the crowd, including Ann, a recent transplant from New England, who was stretching and chatting with a small group of fellow runners. “This is only my second time and I’ve already met many cool and interesting people,” she said.   

There were lots of smiling faces as the runners posed for a group picture, then headed down the Promenade to the waterfront for a run that included a loop around the Lions Lighthouse. 

What a great way to spend a summer evening in Downtown! “To join, just show up,” said Nuñez. “No registration, no fees. It’s totally free.”   

Learn more about Downtown Runners LB on Instagram, @downtownrunners_lb

We’re always on the lookout for Downtown businesses, events, community members and more to highlight in our Downtown Scene newsletter, on our website, and social media channels! If you have an event coming up or know of any Downtown-based amazingness going on that people need to know about, give us a shout by emailing our Communications & Marketing Manager, Asia Morris, at asiam@dlba.org. You can also submit an upcoming Downtown event to our events calendar at downtownlongbeach.org/events.