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‘All races, faces and paces.’ Stephenville Running Club prepares for annual Poker Run.

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

By Rhyland Ramirez

Since April 2021, the Stephenville Running Club has grown to more than 600 Facebook members, with almost 110 runners active in the club’s official 2023 Distance Challenge, logging more than 46,000 miles since Jan. 1 and over 100 competitors on their 2023 Cowtown Marathon team.

Not only has the number of runners increased exponentially, but “the number of miles the average club member runs has increased exponentially,” according to Neely Carter, a member since the birth of the club.

SRC was founded during the COVID-19 pandemic, when founder Julie Brinkley and her husband, Dana, decided that Stephenville should have an organized group for running.

“We wanted this to be an encouraging place for runners to build community,” Julie said.

Many SRC runners can attest to the level of encouragement this group offers.

“I have made friendships and connections that will last a lifetime,” Angela Taylor said. “From the encouragement alone, I have done things I never would’ve imagined I could do, from running my first mile ever to now training for my first half marathon.”

The club boasts its motto of “all races, faces and paces.”

From eight-year-olds to 82-year-olds, from long-time marathoners to trail runners to never-ran-a-step-in-my-life beginners, anyone can find a place in the group.

“We have people of all ages and experience. There’s no age limit or a specific level of experience one has to have to join the SRC,” said Anslee Brann.

There is no fee to join the group, but everyone is encouraged to be active and uplifting.

Besides weekly and monthly meet-ups, which you can find through the club’s Facebook page or e-newsletter, SRC is also active in many local races.

In addition to making strong appearances in the Lions Club Spooktacular Halloween Half/10K/5K event and Fort Worth’s Cowtown Marathon weekend every year, SRC has organized its own running events, which are open to the public.

The second annual Poker Run, organized by club member Joey Fraley, will be held at 8 a.m. Sept. 30 in Stephenville.

Entry is $30 and includes a race shirt, entrance into drawings for prizes, and a chance for a winning poker hand and grand prizes, including but not limited to a GARMIN and SRC apparel.

Julie and Dana Brinkley have also organized races in the past, including their annual Huffin’ for the Stuffin’ family turkey trot on Thanksgiving morning, which has grown into a community-wide event.

Registration for this event is not yet open.

All proceeds from both races go back into the club to help pay for future races, shirts, pasta parties and prizes. If interested in sponsoring an event or the club in general, please message Julie Brinkley on Facebook or call 254-485-9987.

Currently, shirt sponsorship is needed.


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