What’s a Bagel Run?

Every Saturday morning at 7 a.m., a group of Howard County Striders and friends get together in the parking lot in front of the Columbia Swim Center in the Wilde Lake Village Center for informal distance runs. Runners of all skills and abilities come out and group themselves based on pace, and then go out for runs ranging from 8-20 miles. The courses are well laid out on Columbia’s path system and residential streets. The individual routes by mileage are well described in the book, by lifetime Strider Warren Ohlrich, entitled “Columbia Running Routes” (available for purchase at Feet First Sports in Columbia, MD). Striders volunteer weeks in advance to put out water at three locations. On an average week, 50-60 runners come out, and there is a streak going many years (since April, 1979) with at least one person showing up for the Bagel Run, regardless of the prevailing weather conditions.

Also within the Wilde Lake Village Center, where the runs begin, is the Bagel Bin. Many Striders congregate there after finishing to continue discussions or get bagels to take home.

The runs are very informal, with the only formality being that they always start at “exactly” 7 a.m. all year long. This is an especially great way to train for the marathon distance… running in the company of friends.

Where Does a Bagel Run Go?

The answer varies depending on the distance. In general, the run winds through the peaceful hamlets of Longfellow & Beaverbrook, slingshots around Centennial Lake’s grandeur, navigates the quaint traffic circles of West Running Brook, and skirts the majestic Lake Kittamaqundi and Wilde Lake, and depending on how far you’re going, may even take you across Rt. 29 & other parts unknown.

Or, check out some handy maps of the various length courses (less romantic, but a lot more useful):


Questions about the Bagel Run? Need more info?
Contact Bagel Run Ambassador Susie Montoya: bagelrun@striders.net

Number of consecutive bagel runs: