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Running Club warms up for summer youth races


The Las Cruces Running Club, established in 2011, announced it will again host a series of races for youth aged 14 and under this summer.

“We have kids as young as three years old,” club board member Michael Lilley told the Bulletin. “We’ve got moms pushing the little toddlers in their running buggies. We get a lot from five on up. I’d say most of our kids are between five and 10 years old.”

The free summer program organizes a series of races in June and July, with snacks and prizes for participants. One of the races  — at Sagecrest Park, off of Sonoma Ranch Boulevard — will even provide breakfast, Lilley said. All the entrants have to do to register is show up.

The races begin at 9 a.m., with registration 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m., at the following dates and locations:

June 1: La Llorona Park, 3440 W. Picacho Avenue

June 15: Sisbarro Park at New Mexico State University, 3205 Arrowhead Drive

July 13: Sagecrest Park, 601 Roadrunner Parkway

July 27: Tony Gomez Park, 2250 S. Espina Street

There is also a 7:30 p.m. race on July 3, before the city’s electric light parade, with registration beginning at 6:15 p.m. According to RunSignUp.com, this race has a registration fee and meets at the Meerscheidt Recreation Center, 1600 E. Hadley Avenue.

Lilley said the present-day Las Cruces Running Club was convened in 2011 and, minus an interruption during the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic, has been organizing community races ever since, with its summer program added a decade or so ago. Participation has reached as high as 175 youth, he said.  The s

“We have a big turkey trot on Thanksgiving morning, and then we do one called Super Five Sunday … the first Sunday in February,” Lilley said. “Then we help other groups put on races.”

The club funds the summer youth program including its snacks, gifts, and the breakfast at Sagecrest he said, as well as donations to support local high school cross country teams.

While the LCRC does not currently organize training runs for the youth, Lilley said other local groups provide those opportunities.

“Frequently, their parents want to get them interested — that’s how they get started,” Lilley said. “Once the kids participate, then a lot of it is self-motivated.”

Details about local races can be found online by visiting RunSignUp.com and entering Las Cruces Running Club in a search. Further information is also available via email at lascrucesrunclub@gmail.com.

Running club, race, LCRC