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My local club had a pretty offhand approach if you were just starting out or returning....they didn't appear to actually want to attract any new members and it worked for me. I didn't join. (Although they seem to have changed their tack a little recently, so I might give it a go). Having said that, I love running on my own and work commitments etc. do mean that I'd probably only meet with them once or twice a month.
Had several reports of friends & colleagues joining their local club only to either get completely abandoned or not even spoken to or acknowledged.
Some very interesting views folks, and I thank you for all of them.
I'm rather concerned about the attitude of some clubs towards new members and frankly it seems some clubs need to take a long hard look at themselves.
All clubs should welcome new members with open arms. Our club gives a guarantee: You are not too fast or too slow. And we make sure new members have someone to run with.
As for wearing club vests, these are not compulsory for most events and there are plenty of people in my own club who don't wear the club vest.
Hope this helps
Even if the running club I am in had club colours(I don't think they do!) I would still wear a Headway running vest. I think that smaller charities need as much visibility as possible.
I generally like running on my own, but have gone along to some informal 'running club'-style classes at my uni gym and have found it satisfying being pushed a little more by runners ever so slightly faster than me, although a bit of a struggle to keep up with their conversation at the same time! Main trouble has been that take-up was low, so difficult to tailor sessions to individual participants. They also meet quite early in the evening at a different campus from the one I work at, meaning a struggle to get out of work on time.
I've thought of joining a proper club before - there are a few apparently very good ones within the vaguely local area.
The problem is I don't live near enough to any of them to walk, don't drive so would have to rely on unreliable buses, as well as having to pay the extra bus fares alongside the membership fee, which is difficult within my current circumstances. Most of the sessions are quite late in the evenings, so given the bus issue I'd end up getting home really late.
Something I'd like to maybe re-consider for the future, but not practical at the moment.
It can depend on the type of clubs in your area I think. Where I live there are a few within 15 miles....two within the town. Harriers (the more 'serious' club) and Almost Athletes...much less 'serious' and one could argue more focussed on the social side of running.
I goto the less serious club, and we probably have a wider range of abilities...some people who are pretty good (sub 90 1/2 mara for eg) to those who are just starting out. The harriers are more focussed on competing I believe, and have less desire to enable people to go running - which is what I think our club does.
If the less serious club didnt exist, I suspect I would be unattached, as I would be intimidated by the 'seriousness' of the club - whether justified or not. What Muffiun Girl mentioned on the previous page wouldnt happen with our club as there is such a huge range of abilities.
I have just read you post properly and I am in the TRA as well, I just put this as the club name and have not yet paid an unaffiliated fee. I suspect that no-one really knows who is and is not affiliated or even which clubs are. And to be honest I thought the TRA were affiliated.
If I start having to pay unaffiliated fees because they are not I may as well not be a member of the club. The race entry was the only reason I joined a club.
Living in a small hamlet 4 to 5 miles from where The nearest town where the local club meets I would need to use the car to get there. So I go across the fields/down the lanes etc straight from home.
Colin - I think I commented that I didn't understand the unaffiliated/unattached bit (there's plenty more threads so please lets not get into that debate on this one!) but I usually decide that I must be unaffiliated every time I'm asked for a UKA or North of England AA 'membership number' - or something similar. Since I've never affiliated to UK Athletics, or paid the extra fee thi seems to be the right way to go. I do attempt the attached route if I'm just asked for the name of a club (TRA, in both of our cases). I think you're right insofar as nobody quite has the full picture. It doesn't help that there seem to be different rules depending on the race permit issuer - probably another debate not to go into on this thread.
And Nick - it wasn't me that bu99ered off into the trees in mid conversation during the Windermere Marathon. See you next year!
I agree with the affiliation thing, it's for other threads.
I do recognise that people join running clubs for different reasons, the world would be a boring place if we were all the same. My reasons were purley financial (race entries), if this goea away I will leave the club.
Other people like the social aspect of it, some for 'serious running'. I think it is very hard to cater for all types of runner unless it's a big club which can effectivley split into sub groups. This is all just theorising on my part.