If you enjoy running along the beach and want to meet people in a casual group, PB Run Club is your place.
Started by Midwest transplant Todd Barnett, the club meets every Saturday at 8:30 a.m. at PB Community Park, 1405 Diamond St. Members of all levels, with masks and social distancing, complete a 5K run around PB.
Barnett came out to work in the fitness industry just before the pandemic last year and got laid off shortly thereafter. So he was in a quandary.
“I didn’t know anyone in San Diego, and there were weeks on end when I didn’t see another person because of the quarantine,” Barnett noted. “I’ve always been a runner and grew up running track and relays. So I had this idea to start a run club.”
So Todd started promoting a new run club on Instagram and other social media for “people who wanted to run and meet other runners in the community during a tough year.”
“I started the club on Oct. 10, 2020, with two people in the same apartment complex,” said Barnett, formerly of PB and now living in La Jolla/UTC. “But it’s built up from there and now we’ve had about 40 runners who have been in and out of the club since we started.”
Barnett wanted the club to be inclusive not exclusive.
“I’ve been to some run clubs that were runners training for marathons and everybody was running really fast and it was intimidating,” he said. “Our mission is to provide a club that empowers runners at all levels. I wanted to create a space where everyone feels welcome.”
There are three main paths PB Run Club uses during its 40- to 45-minute Saturday morning 5Ks. Barnett described one.
“We go down Diamond Street and head west toward the beach,” he said. “We run down the boardwalk then cut up PB Drive and make a left and go down to the bay for a half mile or so. Then we head back up Felspar Street back into the park on Diamond.”
Afterwards, Barnett said folks hang around and chat informally or go out and grab a cup of coffee somewhere nearby.
Barnett takes pictures with his iPhone of attendees every run, especially the first timers. “I send club members a link with all the pictures I took,” he added. “They love the pictures.”
Of the appeal of running, Barnett noted there are many reasons, ticking off a few. “To my mind set the appeal is being active, being outside, taking advantage of where we live during the pandemic, not having to be isolated and being part of a group through running and athletics. It’s a form of social interaction that’s centered around something that’s more healthy.”
Barnett is proud of the organization he’s created.
“It’s wonderful to see a community actually building around our mutual love for running,” he concluded.
For more information, visit pbrunclub.com or @pbrunclub on Instagram. The club’s newsletter is on the website.