Cypress Running Club Members of the Cypress Running Club cheer on fellow runners at an event.[/caption]

When the Cypress Running Club was founded in Coles Crossing in 2010, members were just looking for a source of support as they pursued running goals. What started out as a small community group of about 30 people has grown to more than 700 during the past five years.

The club’s central purpose is to serve as a social gathering place, giving people who enjoy the sport of running a place to connect, encourage each other and organize around upcoming events, club President Tim Collier said. The group caters to runners of different skill levels who stay connected through runs, social events and organized training, he said.

“We mainly exist to encourage running as a sport in the community,” Collier said. “Some of our members compete in marathons around the country. Others are just starting and running their first 5Ks.”

Patrick Gomez, who will take over as the club’s president May 28, said running is becoming a more popular pastime as more people realize the health benefits and energy boost it provides.

“As running gets more popular and more people move to the Cypress area, we find more and more people coming to us by word of mouth, looking for that community,” he said. “I think we’re serving an important purpose for the community out here. People are happy to get involved.”

When group officials are not participating in races, they are organizing trips for club members to attend races to cheer on other runners. New club member Michelle Lancaster, who said she ran her first half-marathon in January, said the support she received from CRC was a huge motivation boost during the race.

“The cheer support from the public, my running club and my family was more than I imagined,” she said. “There were people yelling in support of everyone for every inch of every mile. I never once felt alone. I felt like every person cheering was my close family, and it was one big party.”

To learn more, visit or find the group on Facebook.