All-Female Running Team Takes on The Speed Project


All-Female Running Team Takes on The Speed Project

— By Katie Godec

A team of six female athletes are running 340 miles from Santa Monica, California to Las Vegas, Nevada in the name of empowering women to crush their own goals and demonstrate the true meaning of #girlpower. ALDRI SUR (Scandinavian-inspired, female-owned outdoor brand) is helping them cover their noggins & cross the finish line in style as the team's official hat sponsor.

South Bay based running group Coffee Club is tackling their third consecutive year participating in The Speed Project - a spectator free, "off the grid" event where teams compete relay-style in all-female, all-male, mixed (OG) and solo running categories. Check out our interview with Speed Project (TSP) veteran & Coffee Club Co-Captain Janel Peralez below:

How long has Coffee Club been participating in TSP?

This will be our third consecutive year. The first year we had an OG team (4 men, 2 women including myself) and we surprised ourselves by coming in 4th place overall. The second year we came back as a 6-woman team with the goal of beating the standing women's record. We wanted to see what we could do and we beat the record by about 2 hours. Our speed and knowledge of the terrain and strategy paid off for the win! This year we are hoping our record stands as there are a few competitive women's teams going for it. There may have been some talk about making a Coffee Club Moms group for next year to get the record back since many of us are having babies this year. 

4 speed project runners standing side by side with a white dog on a mountain trail in the early morning 

We meet every Friday at the Manhattan Beach pier at 5:30AM and get coffee after each run for a morning happy hour aka the name Coffee Club. Coffee Club has created a community that spreads across the country and still serves as a home base for women to feel empowered to go for their goals. Some of our runners met at Coffee Club but moved away and still feel connected and wanted to participate in TSP. 

What do you hope to achieve during the race? 

By running on an all-female team, we hope to show others that women are capable.


Coffee Club may be one of the smaller run clubs in the greater Los Angeles area but we are mighty! After setting the female-team record last year at TSP, we have already sparked more interest in all-female teams. This year should be really exciting to watch.

Our goals for this year are to continue the Coffee Club legacy through representation and to keep inspiring women to show up. We might not only be up against the physical elements - stuck cars, traffic, flat tires, injuries, etc, but The Speed Project allows our female runners to experience how truly gritty and capable they really are in the face of adversity. 


4 women side by side embracing overlooking a mountain scape and a blue sky

Who founded Coffee Club (and when?)

Coffee Club really took off during the pandemic - thanks to Linda Keller.

side profile of female runner with dark straight hair adjusting her ponytail while wearing her Arna Ultralight Running Cap in Celeste  

If she had it her way, we would start every run at 5AM instead of 5:30AM. That extra 30 minutes of sleep was a nice compromise. We found that a lot of women needed a safe outlet during that time - so we would meet outside for small group runs with neck gaiters.

Now that the peak of the pandemic has started to taper off, we are constantly getting new runners to come out to our Manhattan Beach runs. There will always be a place for Coffee Club because women are constantly moving in and out of the area and looking for meaningful connections. 

Is Coffee Club just for women?

No actually - We have men who consistently show up to runs and support! Most of our crew will be men for TSP this year. It's important to make a space for women to feel safe and join, but it is also just as important to have allies. A solid crew for TSP is just as important as strong runners. We do have a women-only chat to maintain a safe space to share and coordinate additional weekly runs.

4 women doing a high kick on a trail while laughing  

How can people learn more about Coffee Club and help support women in sport?

You can check out our Instagram @sbcoffeeclub!



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