Frequently Asked Questions
What is the South Mountain Running Collective (SMRC)?
The South Mountain Running Collective is a USATF-sanctioned running club that was founded in 2009 by Bill Haskins, John Parry, Paul Sinclair, and Andy Lehren. We are an informal group whose mission is to support one another in the enjoyment of running. There are no fees or membership dues, and we have no commercial sponsors.
The club serves runners from South Orange, Maplewood, Orange, West Orange, Irvington, Newark, Millburn, Short Hills, Summit and adjoining areas of New Jersey.
How is the club organized?
We use a Google group email distribution list as a forum for runners to post running opportunities and other topics related to running.
We spend a good deal more time running than we do discussing running, so the list is low-volume.
How do I join the South Mountain Running Collective?
Easy. The only requirements are that you reside locally, and give us a signed waiver form. For complete instructions please see somrunners.org/join.
You should also join our Google Group, since it is our primary means of online communication.
When are the established running sessions?
There are 3 running sessions each week.
- Track practice on Thursday at 7:00pm
- Group distance run on Saturday at 6:30am
- Hill training on Tuesday at 5:30am
See somrunners/run for complete information.
Do you guys run year round?
Yes! We've been known to be deterred by the most extreme conditions (e.g., blizzards), but we do keep going year round.
How is the Thursday night track practice structured?
Runners meet on Thursday at 7:00pm at the Millburn high school track. Speed workouts are typically structured as intervals of relatively hard exertion followed by a brief recovery. Our normal practice is to set these intervals are by time (e.g., 8 minutes) rather than by distance. Everyone starts each interval together as a group. At the end of the interval, all runners stop at the same time, but the group will likely be scattered due to the individual differences in speed and endurance. Then everyone returns to the starting line to regroup and rest. Note that the rest periods are short, e.g., 1.5 or 2 minutes, but this is enough time to make it back to the starting line and get a drink before starting the next interval. Repeat.
What is the running pace at the track practice? I am slow and don’t want to slow others down.
First, slow is a relative term. Yes, there may be faster runners out there, you need not worry about slowing anyone down because everyone runs the workout at his or her own pace. The intervals are challenging for everyone; no one else will be concerned about your pace. Also keep in mind that you won’t be “slow” for long because everyone who consistently comes to track practice gets faster -- which is the point of the exercise.
How many runners show up to track practice?
It varies. There may be 10 or more people there, or nobody at all. It's always a good idea to check the email list for announcements.
How is the Saturday group distance run structured?
Runners usually meet at 6:30 am at Floods Hill in South Orange (The actual address is Meadowbrook Lane, South Orange, near the bottom of the sledding hill.) Folks usually run a few loops up and down Meadowbrook to give others a chance to show up. At about 6:35 am the runners make their way through South Orange to arrive before 7:00 am at Underhill track near Garfield Place and Radel Terrace in South Orange. After about 15 minutes of easy laps around the track, the pack hits the road and then determines a route on an ad hoc basis, depending on who is running and for how long. We often adjust our route so that each runner can finish near his or her final destination at whatever time he or she prefers.
See somrunners/run/roads for a map showing the locations of Flood's Hill and the Underhill track.
What is the pace of the Saturday group run?
It varies, but should be in the range of range around 8:45 to 9:15/mile. If this is too fast for you but you still want some company, you're encouraged to post a note to the email list and try organizing your own little pace group. (Conversely -- a note to you fast people -- if have plans to go long on a Saturday morning and your pace is likely to exceed this norm, please make it known when you announce your plans to the list.)
How is the Tuesday morning hill workout structured?
Runners meet at 5:30 am at the corner of Sagamore and Glenn in Millburn. Then the pack runs up Sagamore and Warner, then back down. Faster runners will periodically loop back to reform the pack so that no one is dropped. Note to the slower hill runners: do not feel bad that you are the cause of the loop backs. Instead, think of it as giving the faster runners an extra opportunity to run more hills, which is the whole point of the workout!
Does the SMRC require any annual dues or fees?
No. The club was founded under the principle that anyone who wishes to run with the SMRC shall be able to do so free of charge.
How do I get a South Mountain shirt or jacket?
Talk to Bill Haskins. The swag isn't free, but it's priced at cost.
What is MAPSO? Are you affiliated with each other?
MAPSO is a triathlete club centered in the same geographic area as SOMRunners. We're all great friends and there is substantial overlapping membership, but there's no formal affiliation.
I am slow/out of shape/overweight/whatever
If you want to do some running, you should do some running. If your pace is too slow for our standard weekend road or trail runs, (around 8:45-9:15/mile on the roads) and you want some company, you should post a note on our Google group email list and recruit some company at a compatible pace.
Are there any club rules?
The club presently has just three:
- The email distribution list is not to be used for commercial purposes (no spam).
- Everyone is required to sign the waiver.
- Follow Bill’s Golden Rule of group running: Be responsible for yourself while looking out for your friends.