Combining cannabis and sports is a growing trend among amateur and professional athletes alike, but one new club in Denver is taking the term "runner's high" to a new level. Starting this month, a group of runners interested in using cannabis to help train will meet up once a week for runs in the West Highland neighborhood.
Billing itself as the Runner’s High Run Club, the group will gather every Thursday at the Native Roots Highlands dispensary to run a 4.2-mile sativa route or a hybrid 2.1-mile route sponsored by the dispensary and Stratos, an infused-products company. Every runner who completes the route receives discounts on Native Roots and Stratos products, as well as a stamp in their club running log that they can accumulate for prizes and more discounted goodies for miles logged.
Stratos has attempted unconventional consumer outreach in the past, sponsoring a series of educational chats at metro-area Balfour Senior Living communities about using medical marijuana for age-related ailments and dementia.
“We’re really excited to create a new community for cannabis enthusiasts and runners to unite,” Stratos sales and marketing director Kate Heckman says in a statement announcing the group's formation. “Whether it’s applying a cannabis salve to sore muscles, relaxing with cannabis after a run or using CBD to decrease inflammation after a long workout, cannabis can support athletic training in so many ways.”
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While using cannabis to treat inflammation and muscle soreness isn't a new concept, just five years ago most athletes would've laughed at the thought of using cannabis to enhance their workouts. Today, however, more runners are reporting both the athletic and recreational benefits of ingesting lightly dosed edibles and other infused products before going for a jog, saying it helps them focus and gives them energy.
Former Westword contributor and avid runner Josiah Hesse just published a piece in Esquire detailing his addiction to running around Denver after eating edibles, saying he felt "ready to chase down a fucking gazelle." Boulder edibles company Wana Brands even sponsors endurance athlete Flavie Dokken, who says cannabis helps her train for marathons.
"Native Roots has a large number of patients and customers who maximize their workouts with cannabis, and we are thrilled to be able to offer an opportunity to bring them together with this run club," says Sarah Larson, associate director of retail operations for Native Roots, as well as a fifteen-year runner who notes that she's "excited to be able to combine passions for cannabis and running with this effort."
Starting tonight, June 14, each Thursday night group will meet at the Native Roots dispensary at 2209 West 32nd Avenue at 6 p.m.; the last run of the summer is slated for September 27. All runners must be at least 21 and can register on Eventbrite. Because the run takes place in public, cannabis consumption along the route is not endorsed; runners are encouraged to partake in private consumption areas before or after the run.