While the sport of running is geared to the individual, runners sometimes crave competition other than a stopwatch or the comfort of a friend during the mundane long runs. Others want to share information on techniques and strategy and discuss nutrition.

For a runner such as this, the Red Oak Running Club was formed.

“The main purpose is for health and also for accountability and to be each other’s motivation,” said Dr. Jay Ferguson, one of the club founders. “If you have at least one day where you are supposed to be somewhere and run, you feel accountable.”

Ferguson, with Red Oak Chiropractic and Therapy, had the idea for the running club as a form of outreach in the community.

“I’m a runner and I wanted to give my benefits of running. My patients were my first idea. I thought it was a good way to reach out to the community,” Ferguson said. “I figured if I joined this group, if anyone wants to increase their time or speed, I could lend advice. I understand the benefits of a good exercise program and I figured I could spread the benefits throughout the community.”

The running club got its start when Starbucks manager Cara Deturk approached Ferguson about starting a club at the Starbucks grand opening in February. Ferguson agreed and the club had its first meeting in March.

Now, the club meets at 7 p.m. each Monday at Starbucks for discussion, followed by a trip to Coyote Ridge for training.

“We talk about what they did the week before, goals, what race they are training for,” Ferguson said. “It’s a good way to meet people. It adds to the benefits of running. This gives you a chance to meet people and run in a different setting.”

Ferguson said the club is open not only to veteran runners, but also those who have little experience in the sport. During the runs, participants work on individual goals on their own or those with similar experience and training run together.

“Some people don’t know where to start. They don’t know how far to run or the correct posture,” Ferguson said. “It’s for all levels — from beginners to professionals. You can run, walk, jog. Everyone is different.”

The club chose Coyote Ridge because of the lack of traffic and the quiet atmosphere.

“Right now were just running through that area because of it’s low traffic and very quiet,” Ferguson said.

Although the club has only five members at the moment, Ferguson is dedicated to increasing that number and has big plans for the members. The club participated in the Red Oak ISD Education Foundation 5K in April and the club has plans for more runs in the future.

“Right now, the Monday meeting is a time to check in and see where everyone is at in their training. As it grows, we may add another night,” Ferguson said.

For more information contact Ferguson at (972) 576-5501.

E-mail Mandy at mandy.bourgeois@elliscountychronicle.com.