Get to Know Your Running Clubs: Chicago RunMonsters - FFC Running Club

We caught up recently with Chris Navin to chat about the Chicago RunMonster Running Club.

Hey, Chris! Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hey! I'm the Head Coach of Fitness Formula Clubs (FFC), RunMonster Running Club, and TriMonster Triathlon Club.

Tell us a bit about your club history, how long has the club been around?

The RunMonster running club at Fitness Formula Clubs (FFC) started back in 1997 as a running group and training program for the Chicago Marathon. Eventually, the club merged with FFC's TriMonster Triathlon Training program and become formally known as the "RunMonster" running club.

What level of runners do you cater to?

We cater to all levels of athletes and are known to be "100% intimidation-free!" In fact, one of our mantras is "if you can run a mile, you can run a marathon!" We also support several local charities by handling all the training programs for them, so we have a large number of first time half and full marathon runners in our group, including those who just like to run/walk too. That said, we also have a strong contingent of local elite runners and triathletes who compete and qualify for national and world championship events, including TEAM USA, so we have the full spectrum of runners in our group!

Where/when does your club usually meet/run?

Various locations depending on the season, but most consistently we run out of FFC Gold Coast on Saturday mornings around 7 or 8am (depending on the season). We also meet and run out of FFC Lincoln Park, FFC South Loop, Ohio Street Beach, Lake Shore Park Track, and Foster Ave Beach for various training programs and events.


Any cost to be a member/join?

We have several options for both FFC members and non-members that typically range from ~$49 club-only membership challenges to $500+ training programs. More info can be found at

Is your group affiliated with any events?

We promote several of the large local running events for which we have training programs and special events, but the big one is the Chicago Marathon as our annual team and charity event. We have cheering stations and a race day "Athlete Village" at our South Loop location that includes free post-race food, drinks, massage, and more for all of our runners! We also host and sponsor events at Fitness Formula Clubs (FFC) locations including the FFC Indoor Triathlon & Duathlon Series which is Chicago's largest and longest running indoor triathlon and duathlon race series. Other team events include the Chicago Half Marathon, Chicago Spring Half Marathon, F^3 Lake Half Marathon, and AIDS Run&Walk, among others - there's a team race virtually every week on the beautiful Chicago lakefront trail and our triathlon team competes locally and nationally as well at events such as the Chicago Triathlon, Leon's Triathlon, Steelhead 70.3 and IRONMAN Wisconsin! And of course, our most fun events are always the "BeerMonster" fun runs and "unofficial" Beer Mile!

Any other favourite local races we'll find RunMonsters at? 

Some fun local runs and events of ours include the Santa Speedo Run and Turkey Day 5k/8k. But we also love some of the big local races too such as the unofficial kickoff of the local running season at the Shamrock Shuffle 8k, the Soldier Field 10 Miler, Rock'n'Roll Chicago Half Marathon, and Hot Chocolate 15k/5k.


Tell us your favorite spots to run in and around Chicago.

The Lakefront Trail is the most popular and beautiful place to run - everyone is there and the Skyline views are second to none as one of the most beautiful lakefront trails in the world, no question! But it's also worth exploring some of the newer trails like the expanding Chicago Riverwalk trail downtown, The 606 Bloomingdale trail, the North Branch Trail, and the North Shore Channel Trail if you're looking for nice alternatives to the lakefront!

And finally - what's your message to all the runners out there?

Chicago is one of the most active cities for runners with events and races every day of the week. If you're looking for a great place to workout and fun endurance training club to get involved within the local running community, consider joining Fitness Formula Clubs or sign up to get guaranteed race entries to the bigger local race events with our charity partners Team To End AIDS and Team Bright Pink! Our team can always be reached at

Want to learn more? 

Want to connect with RunMonsters, or just learn a bit more about them? Check out their information below:

FFC Running Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Find more runs around Chicago

Looking for runs in and around Chicago? The RunGuides Chicago race calendar can help you find upcoming runs and running races in the area -

Published on Nov 22, 2016