MIDLAND Every week, runners from around Midland will gather on different courses to take part in different running workouts as part of the group Midland Run Crew.
The group was formed back in 2016 by Robert Gomez. Since its founding, Gomez says the group has grown over time and has attracted new members including Midland Mayor Patrick Payton.
One of the activities that the club partakes in is its weekly Beer Run at Tall City Brewery in Midland.
Gomez said the group started originally as a men’s running club but is now a coed group.
“Then, it became the 432 Crew because we wanted to accompany surrounding counties,” Gomez said. “We started doing that and got some traction. The mayor, Patrick Payton started getting on board. But then we started seeing other groups pop up like in Odessa and Andrews and we started to make it exclusive to Midland and we started operating under the name Midland Run Crew.”
The name change was made back in 2019. Since then, the Run Crew now has its own day throughout the city of Midland on every Oct. 12.
The Beer Runs also began in 2019 and since then have continued nearly every Thursday at Tall City Brewery.
Next week’s run will take place at around 6 p.m.
“Back in 2019, I was friends with the Tall City Brewery guys and we had this vision because all these cities were doing beer runs and it was a great avenue to break barriers and make people feel welcomed,” Gomez said. “We have a one, two and three mile options. Whether you run, walk or jog, you’re at least being active. That’s what we wanted to do as that icebreaker. It’s been rewarding. We’re hoping to start memberships. It’s slowly evolving.”
Of course, with a sport such as running, there’s plenty of healthy benefits to taking part in the Midland Run Crew.
One of the benefits to joining the club is meeting new people.
“There are a lot of runners who came from Houston and Dallas and are trying to find out how to get plugged in, how to meet new people,” Gomez said.
But Gomez also talked about the mental benefits as well.
“There’s also a mental aspect to it,” Gomez said. “With running, there’s a lot of mental training to it. If you can tap into that, then it flows over into your daily life, your home life and church life. It allows you to push through those barriers. That mental strength helps create those endorphins.”
The group continued during the beginning of the pandemic.
“During the whole pandemic, we continued running,” Gomez said. “Yeah, we kept our pace and distance but to be able to combat some of that stuff by having a healthy cardiovascular system and all around fitness, it’s always good.”
Those who are interested in joining don’t need to worry about having to go at a fast pace or long distance.
“Some people will start off walking and walking is beneficial too,” Gomez said. “It’s all about allowing that platform for them to feel comfortable to transitioning to 5K. … We try not to push any agenda on people that try to run with us.”
The goal is to make other people feel welcomed.
“It’s mainly us supporting others to help achieve their goals,” Gomez said. “Everyone has their goals and they want to achieve their goals. As a community of runners, we want to help them achieve that through encouragement and through connection. That certainly helps. If you’re running with your group, it gives you that extra boost to know that someone has your back. That’s something we provide. But we create so many friendships outside of the club that we’re meeting up afterwards and friendships that we might not have had. It’s really beneficial in that sense. It’s really grown.”
For Gomez, who is a Midland High graduate, he actually didn’t start running until after high school.
“I actually got started later in life,” Gomez said. “I had a family and everything. It was about 2013 when my daughter was at the elementary and they had an afterschool running program. … She started running that after school program in 2013. I was overweight. I was about 210 pounds and I could not keep up with my little girl and I was thinking this wasn’t right. That’s when I started my journey. It was an eight-week program that led to their first 5K. I would run with them and do my own workout. I went from 210 to 180. I lost 30 pounds and that was my first 5k. I ran about a seven minute pace. I got third and that’s what struck my cord. I realized that if I can put in all the dedication and everything, I can really do something and that’s where I started my journey.”
The group also meets on other days of the week including Tuesdays and Saturdays.
“Tuesdays is track Tuesdays in which we do speed intervals and things like that,” Gomez said. “Thursdays, we do 6 miles before 6 a.m. That’s kind of our tempo day. Saturday’s are our long runs. Depending on what people are training for, it can be multiple places. Anywhere from 10 miles plus is what we typically do. But it’s here in town.” Sometimes we’ll do trail runs in Big Spring.”
- What: Midland Run Crew Beer Runs.
- When: 6 p.m. every Thursday.
- Where: Tall City Brewery.
- For more information: tinyurl.com/3dfzcaac