Lake Merritt Joggers and Striders (LMJS) was founded in 1977 by a small group of regulars training at Lake Merritt near downtown Oakland. The tradition of the monthly Fourth Sunday Run began then; it remains emblematic of our commitment to provide regular races over a fast certified course at low cost. We consider ourselves a community resource, and are recognized as such by the City of Oakland and the Oakland Parks and Recreation Department.
LMJS is an affiliate member of the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) and of the Pacific Association of USA Track and Field (PAUSATF).
Through the RRCA, we are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. We are governed by an elected board and officers, with the annual election held concurrent with our Summer potluck in August. The Board of Directors meetings take place monthly and are open to anyone who would like to attend. Club membership is open to all interested parties including walkers, joggers, non-competitive runners, biathletes, triathletes, and competitive runners regardless of age, sex or athletic ability.
Starting in 2008 for the "odd" numbered months, the Fourth Sunday Runs will consist of concurrent 5K (1 lap), 10K (2 laps) and 15K (3 laps) races around Lake Merritt. Then for the "even" numbered months, just the 5K and 10K will be contested. The February run is the Couples Relay; one female, then one male, each running one 5K lap. The August run is the Time Is On Your Side Run in which the winners in the 5K and 10K runs are those that most accurately predict their times; no watches or pacing allowed.
Additionally, on the morning of the Bay-to-Breakers, LMJS presents an alternative race in the Berkeley Hills – the Tilden Tough Ten. This is the first race in the renowned Triple Crown Trail Championship series.
The Club participates as a group in two major Northern California races. We field several seven-person teams at the Tahoe Relays in early June, and four-person teams at the Christmas Relays at Lake Merced in San Francisco in mid-December. Entry fees are subsidized by the Club. Very inexpensive housing is available at Lake Tahoe in cabins which we rent every year.
LMJS issues e-mail bulletins several times a month with the latest news and articles of interest. Several times a year the club produces a newsletter mailed to club members containing training tips, race results, members' achievements and articles (serious and otherwise) pertinent to running. Also, our website is another resource for members and non-members, including a message board for making running related postings.
Several times a year club members and their guests share running stories and food at social dinners. Prominent guest speakers hold forth at these dinners. At our Spring potluck, Total Time Competition certificates are issued to all members who have completed at least one race at each of the three Fourth Sunday Run distances in the previous calendar year, with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place certificates given based on the sum of the best times achieved for each of the three distances. The Summer potluck is a picnic held outdoors, usually in the Oakland Hills, preceded by an optional group run.
A new tradition, recently started, are organized, weekly Saturday morning training runs. Every week club members and other runners meet on Saturday morning for a training run somewhere in the East Bay, followed by socializing over a cup of coffee.
Dues and fees have always been absurdly modest; members even get a discount on the Fourth Sunday Run registration fee. In addition, many local running stores give our members a 10% discount on most non-sale merchandise.
LMJS encourages active participation by all of its members. All those interested in running, whether beginning, walking, jogging or competitive racing are welcome. Volunteers at the races and those participating in the Club’s administration are rewarded and recognized by an annual dinner at a local restaurant.