For many, their first introduction to Club Northwest happens at the start line of local races. Whether toeing the line alongside a CNW runner or spotting the recognizable orange singlet from afar, people who attend Seattle-area running events regard Club with varying degrees of familiarity but familiarity nonetheless. What many people may not know, however, is that Club Northwest is more than just a hub for a select few pursuing Olympic trials qualifying times. For over 50 years, CNW has supported the runners in the Pacific Northwest through community-centered programming and events open to people of all abilities, ages, and backgrounds. While Club’s offerings continue to change and grow to meet the needs of membership and the greater Seattle community, here is a snapshot of Club Northwest’s current offerings available to everyone living in or visiting the emerald city.
September through June, runners are invited to a group run from Seattle’s iconic Super Jock Jill ‘n every Sunday morning at 8am. Two pace groups lead by Club Northwest members take runners along roads and pedestrian paths around the Seattle area for a longer run.
Club Northwest’s Spencer Walsh and Ashley Nichols coach year-round Tuesday evening workouts open to the community, at Seattle’s Roosevelt High School track. Whether new to running or looking to supplement current training, runners of all abilities are encouraged to come out at 6:15pm for Tuesday Night Track Workout.
Bill Roe All-Comers Track and Field Series:
For almost 51 years at the Shoreline Stadium just north of Seattle proper, Club Northwest has offered a track and field meet for all ages and abilities. From the end of May to mid August, both aspiring long jumpers and veteran sprinters, pint-sized throwers and seasoned hurdlers enjoy memorable Wednesday evenings at the track.
New Balance/Super Jock ‘n Jill Winter Grand Prix:
Founded in 1996 to help motivate high school kids during the dreary winter months, the six races comprising the Winter Grand Prix have evolved to include steady open and masters competition. The two road races, two cross country races, and the final are held at Magnuson Park and the track race at Seattle Public School’s Nathan Hale High.
those who crave mud, camaraderie, and participating in a true team dynamic, fall cross country with Club Northwest checks all of those boxes. Not only does CNW boast one of the largest and strongest XC teams in the Pacific Northwest, but it supports through membership volunteers the Emerald City Open and PNTF Champs at the notoriously tough Lower Woodland Park course just east of Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo.
Youth Track and Field:
Club Northwest offers programming for youth ages 4-18 who are interested in learning more about the sport of track and field and, for athletes 9 and up, looking to continue in the sport throughout the summer. Just north of Seattle at King’s High School, the experienced coaches prepare the young athletes to participate in the Wednesday All-Comers meets as well as reach personal goals.
The Ballard Criterium Road Mile:
New to 2020, Club Northwest and The Ballard Criterium are collaborating to offer the Seattle area’s only road mile race. Runners will take to the course of one of Seattle’s longest-standing and largest cycling races, the Ballard Criterium, which laps four blocks in historic Ballard. Club is excited to partner with another hometown staple to bring this event to the community in June 2020.
Celebrating the beginning of the new year, the event consists of a 5K run/walk that has an optional Polar Bear Dive into Lake Washington just prior to the event finish line area. The post-race celebration includes a free kids dash for children 10 & under and a beer garden for those over 21. Free chili, coffee, hot chocolate and more is provided to warm up divers and runners at the finish.
Three times a year, Club Northwest hosts runs celebrating running and a change in the season. In January, women come together around their love of running and kinship for the Women’s Run. The evening of the summer solstice is celebrated with burritos and a run from Golden Gardens Beach. When the city is aglow in winter festivities, Club gathers for the Holiday Run followed by pizza and beer at a local brewery.
Northwest Women’s Running Retreat:
This annual summer escape to the stunning Orcas Island in the Straight of Juan de Fuca provides women of the Pacific Northwest, across all ages, who are passionate about running, with the opportunity to come together and celebrate each other and all that encompasses a well-balanced running lifestyle. While hosted by Club Northwest, this event is open to women across all ages and ability levels who are passionate about running.
Club Northwest is dedicated to cultivating a thriving presence in Seattle, One that serves as both a space for competitive runners to train with rigor and as an access point for the community to engage with track and field and distance running. A nonprofit, CNW heavily relies on support from its members to bring to fruition the events described above. In addition to jobs, families, training and life’s other demands, members volunteer their time to organize All Comers, lead Sunday runs, and offer the retreat. Of course, fundraising is an integral part of keeping such dynamic programming afloat. Once a year, Club Northwest runs a month-long annual campaign during which membership and the community are asked to show their support monetarily. This year’s campaign wraps up August 9th, but donations can always be made by visiting www.clubnorthwest.org and clicking on “Donate.” Your support will ensure the continuance of Club’s community offerings as well as help to sustain a piece of PNW running history in a city where turbulent growth has erased many long-time Seattle staples.