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Ice Cream & Donut Run Club: Where Running Becomes Fun and Inclusive

Ice Cream & Donut Run Club Run Tri Bike Club Spotlight
Running can often feel like a solitary pursuit, each step pounding out a rhythm of determination and resilience. However, Karen McCullough, the founder of the Ice Cream &Donut Run Club, discovered that running doesn’t have to be a lonely endeavor. Instead, it can be a joyful and inclusive experience that brings people together in unexpected ways. Karen McCullough founded The Ice Cream& Donut Run Club in 2018, driven by a desire to share the joy of running and create a welcoming community for runners of all levels. As she reflects on her journey, Karen shares, “I’d been running for half my life, but it wasn’t until I started running with my local run clubs that I understood the power of running together.

Inclusivity and Fun Over Competition

The Ice Cream & Donut Run Club is not your typical running club focused solely on competition and personal records. Instead, it’s a vibrant community that prioritizes inclusivity and fun. With over a thousand members in their Strava group, the club’s success lies in its welcoming atmosphere and emphasis on camaraderie. When it came to starting the run club itself, what was the catalyst? Karen reflects, “I never meant to start a run club. I just wanted to combine two of my joys in life: running and eating ice cream. Obviously, this resonated with a lot of people and what started as a fun thing for a few friends and myself grew organically into a space where runners felt welcomed and valued, regardless of their pace or experience level. Running should be about enjoying the journey together.”
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Shared Experiences and Memorable Adventures

What sets the Ice Cream & Donut Run Club apart is its commitment to creating memorable experiences beyond running. From themed runs to post-run brunch and shoe demo days with partner brands, the club ensures that every outing is filled with laughter and shared moments. Besides running for ice cream and donuts, the club has expanded to fried chicken runs, wine runs, coffee runs and even sunset hikes. The club members bond over their love for food and adventure. “We run to eat,” Karen chuckles. “But more importantly, we run to connect and have fun.” “We’re not just a running club; we’re a family,” says Jeannine Avelino, one of the clubs trail run club leaders. “The stories we share, the challenges we overcome together, it’s what keeps everyone coming back week after week.”

Nurturing a Supportive Community

Whether the club is running on the road or on the trail, one of the club’s core principles is ensuring that no runner is left behind. With designated leaders at the front, mid-pack leaders and sweepers at the back during runs, everyone feels supported and included. “We want runners to know that they’re part of something bigger than themselves,” Karen McCullough explains. “It’s about lifting each other up and celebrating every milestone, whether it’s a new PR, racing a 5k, or running their first ultramarathon. When our members are not running a race, you’ll also find them volunteering and cheering at races.”

Looking Towards the Future

As the club continues to grow and evolve, Karen reflects on the journey so far. “I’m really proud that we’ve created something truly special here—a community where everyone feels welcome and supported. That’s what running should be about.” Whether you’re a seasoned runner or a beginner taking your first steps, the Ice Cream & Donut Run Club offers a place where running becomes more than just a sport—it becomes a source of joy, friendship, and unforgettable experiences.
Ice Cream & Donut Run Club Run Tri Bike Club Spotlight
Ice Cream & Donut Run Club
Ice Cream & Donut Run Club Run Tri Bike Club Spotlight
Ice Cream & Donut Run Club
Ice Cream and Donut Run Club Run Tri Bike Club Spotlight
President: Karen McCullough