It's a man thing: 3 men's running clubs to join in metro Atlanta

Whether you're going for the health and social benefits of having fitness buddies or just need some time to hang out with the guys, men's running groups in Atlanta might have what you need.

Here are three to consider:

RELATED: 7 questions you were too afraid to ask about running

Black Men Run Atlanta
A chapter of the inspirational national group, Black Men Run Atlanta has as its mission statement "To encourage health and wellness among African American Men by promoting a culture of physical activity primarily through running as well as other cardiovascular realms." The group competes in some local and regional races and also meets a couple of times most weeks for local runs. They provide pace leaders and encouragement for all levels. They reassure aspiring members that while some of their members are elite marathoners, others "have trouble running to their mailboxes... So don't be alarmed because you will not get left."

Join the closed Black Men Run Atlanta Facebook group for updates and additional information.

Front Runners Atlanta

While it's open to anyone "regardless of race, pace, age, or gender," Front Runners Atlanta is primarily a running, walking and social club for gay people and their friends. They have a very active membership that hosts weekly runs, usually 4-6 miles, along routes in Atlanta's midtown neighborhoods. The group meets on Saturdays at 8 a.m., Mondays at 7 p.m., and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.

They also plan periodic "adventure runs" to trails in various parks around the region, including Kennesaw National Park. There is no minimum participation requirement; you can join in as often as you like. For more information:

Atlanta Track Club Mens Open and Masters Teams

The nonprofit Atlanta Track Club has been engaging the community to achieve health and fitness through running since 1964 and is the second largest running organization in the U.S. It serves runners and walkers of all ages and paces, but its ATC Elite is designed just for those who enjoy road and track racing.

To join, you must be a member of ATC, live in Atlanta, and have run times that meet their age-adjusted standards sometime in the past two years. One example: the standard for a 5K road raced is 16 minutes for a man who is 20-29. The Elite Mens Open Team is for those under 40, the Elite Mens Masters is for those 40 and up.

Even if you can run those elite times, sometimes there is a wait for a berth on the squad.

Benefits of joining either team include the chance to train with the guys, receive personal coaching from ATC coaching staff and an opportunity to represent ATC at local, regional and national races.

Read more:

  • 3 running clubs to join in metro Atlanta for women
  • 7 running clubs to join in metro Atlanta for kids
  • 5 walking clubs to join in metro Atlanta for seniors