Running in Fort Wayne Now

Running in Fort Wayne Now

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Some say they would never run unless they’re being chased. I long counted myself a part of this crowd—I am more often running errand than races—until I hit a plateau: My trusty elliptical workouts weren’t cutting it, and I needed a cardio challenge.

Running turns calorie burning into calorie scorching. Running one mile burns about 25 percent more calories than walking a mile. Add to that the fact that you can run one mile much more quickly than you can walk one mile, and it’s clear that running is the more efficient workout.

The treadmills at Max Fitness are the perfect all-weather platform for perfecting your form and torching calories at any time of day or night. But sometimes a race can help you challenge yourself and take your running to the next level. Fortunately, opportunities in Fort Wayne for even the casual runner have grown over the past few years.

Founded in 1977, the Fort Wayne Track Club is the grandfather of the running groups in the area. And it’s still running strong. The Fort Wayne Track Club’s website,, is a one-stop resource for running events in the city and region. The well-organized site—maintained, as is everything, by volunteers—lists race results, groups in town that you can train with, members’ point standings, membership information and links to numerous groups and organizations supporting running and fitness in the city, state and across the country.

You can take part in Fort Wayne Track Club events without being a member. Approximately 25 to 45 percent of runners at each race are not track club members. In fact, their membership is constantly in flux, with about 100 of their 400 or so members leaving and an equal number joining each year.

But membership does have its privileges, including a bimonthly newsletter, the points series, race registration discounts, discounts on apparel at select stores, and an invitation to an annual banquet featuring locally, regionally and nationally recognized runners and athletes. New members pay just $20 a year. There is a family rate and a three-year rate as well.

Best of all, the site lists lots and lots of local and regional races for the year, so you can choose which you want to participate in and schedule your training accordingly.

The Three Rivers Running Company is another running resource with history in Fort Wayne. The store opened in early 2004 with the goal of providing innovative products and knowledgable service—it’s staffed by runners—specifically for walkers and runners. It was the first in the area to specialize in fitting running shoes and carries hard-to-find styles.

The store has outgrown its space twice; today you can find their broad selection at 4039 North Clinton St. They also provide a training group and race calendar on their website at Casey Shafer, an ultra competitive runner himself who has been with the store since its launch, leads a community running team.

Fleet Feet, a national chain, is newer to the Fort Wayne scene. The retail store at 5661 Coventry Lane in southwest Fort Wayne sponsors weekly fun runs, including Monday Morning Coffee Runs at 6 a.m. and, at the other end of the spectrum, Wednesday Pub Runs at 6:30 p.m. Fleet Feet also lists races and events on its website at

Want to take your cardio workout up a notch and still get in some weightlifting? The Fort Wayne Trails have made it easy. Check out the map at; chances are good that no matter where you live, you can run to a Max Fitness location. Stop in for a long drink from the water fountain and a few sets of weights, do a little stretching, and run back home. You’ll amplify your workout, save on gas and see the scenery all at the same time!