When Jessica Christy moved to Carson Valley from San Diego last year, she left behind a large, highly-organized social running group.
She was here all of a month before she set about starting something similar.
"I just wanted to take what I learned down there and start something here," she said. "From the start, I just wanted it to get big enough to where people saw us out for a run and were inspired to start running themselves.
"The feedback I've gotten so far is that people don't feel intimidated and that's what I wanted. The important thing is that people just get out and get moving."
In a little over a year, Douglas County Running has grown to 40 members with up to four runs a week, although most sessions top out at eight runners.
Christy set up a Web site, www.meetup.com/douglascountyrunning, where runs and events are posted and members can interact. Christy also set the group up to be free.
"On weekdays, we'll do runs in town here and on weekends we'll alternate long distance runs because we have people training for races and marathons. We do a lot of trail runs too and go to Markleeville or Topaz Lake. I get e-mails about events and races in the region and we set up car pools and things like that.
"It's grown pretty well, mostly by word of mouth. We're just hoping to kind of take the next step and draw more of the community out."
Christy is a veteran of three marathons and has two more on her schedule this year as she tries to qualify for the 2013 Boston Marathon. She said runners of all levels have come out to participate and that the group generally sticks together to provide support.
Organized runs are classified by distance and difficulty. New runners can RSVP for the lighter runs while more experienced runners can drift toward the longer weekend runs. Anyone, though, is welcome at any run.
"I get calls from people that have never run, ever," she said. "I tell them to come out. The bigger the group gets, the more we'll be able to have different pace groups. It's good encouragement and good support. People always think they'll hate running, but once you get going, it's so much fun."
She said she has started scheduling family runs on Sundays and would like to see the club get involved in programs geared toward preventing childhood obesity.
"We welcome people coming out wth jogging strollers and everything like that," she said. "People can walk if that is more comfortable. Again, it's just about getting out and moving."
For more information on the club, visit meetup.com/douglascountyrunning.
Joey Crandall can be reached at (775) 782-5121, ext. 212.