Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Buffalo & SLUGs

I belong to Second Wind Running Club and Kennekuk Road Runners. They are both great running clubs doing lots of good things for the local running community--including sponsoring some awesome trail races and one ultra marathon each (Clinton Lake & Howl at the Moon). Yet I find myself identifying with two other running groups: the Buffalo and SLUGs. What kind of creatures are these?

The Buffalo are a group of trail runners centered in the Champaign-Urbana, IL area. Most, but not all, belong to Second Wind. There are two driving forces behind the Buffalo...running trails and drinking beer. They are kind of like a hash house harriers without the hashing (that would take too much planning!). We even get nicknames (once they are earned). I'm known as S&M...or the Moon Master...or Prez POD. Those names deserve another post. Currently we have over 175 people on our buffalo listserv through Yahoo groups. Join us to get the scoop on trail running and races in our area. We travel near and far to run and drink. And we often bring our buffalo shirts and hats. Keep an eye out for us. Feel free to offer us a beer too.

So what about these SLUG creatures? SLUG stands for "St Louis Ultrarunners Group." Pretty cool...a group dedicated to ultra running! As opposed to the informal buffalo group, the SLUGS are an actual RRCA running club. Membership dues, newsletter, race discounts and everything. I have never run a SLUG event (yet), but I'm on their listserv and the group is very interesting and supportive. Every one of their races gets rave reviews. I'll be putting a couple events on my schedule for next year. If you live near the St Louis area you should join them and run their races. Almost any ultra you run, you'll find some SLUGs afterwards...drinking beer and wearing their SLUG shirts. Sounds like a Buffalo (except for the shirt thing)!

Be particularly careful of the hybrid Buffalo-SLUG. Not only do they run a lot of ultras, they consume a lot of beer...keep your beer cooler under a watchful eye!

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