Starting a Running Club


I'm 27years old and have been running for years now.

I have decided that I am going to start a running club in the city where I live. Obvioulsy there's other one's available, but I want my own, and want to see how it can grow!

I've been thinking about it for a while now, and I've already got a name, website, email and logo sorted. I'm a really committed, passioante and focused indivdual and I'm pretty sure the club will attract runners... albeit probably just a few friends to start!!

...So I'm essentially after some advice!

I need to know if you need to have or be a trained coach? or whether your experience would be sufficient to take runners out?

Also I need to know what insurance I would have to obtain for the club?

And finally I would like to know if there are any other issues with starting a running club... stepping on others feet and so forth?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


Chris image


  • As far as I'm aware there is zero reuirement to have a qualified coach within a club.

    Insurance, liabilty insurance is a absolute must

    Your absolutely bound to step on other peoples feet, be prepared to listen to other peoples ideas, in my experience running clubs can become dominated by those who hve been there for years and new ideas aren't always welcome,

  • First thing is to register with England/ Scotland whatever Athletics body you come under, once affiliated then you are insurered by that body.

    A coach is advisable to organise training, training plans etc and should be level 2 or above, the least you require is a club member who has attended a group running course, otherwise your insurance is invalid.

    To do things properly you should have a Club Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Secretary, others such as Chairperson, Race  Directors, Kit Buyer can be sorted with the club.

    Then the hardest part of all... Try to get others to commit time and energy and help out with the organisation, although you sound very focused the bigger your club gets the harder it becomes.


  • "the least you require is a club member who has attended a group running course, otherwise your insurance is invalid"

    how true is that? can you quote where that's from -  if so, I'm sure it will have some effects on existing smaller running clubs. Just a thought , ta .

  • England Athletics refer to it under Leardership in running, I know a level 1 coach and above also qualify. Without someone in one of these positions making a cliam when theres a problem whilst group running could be tricky, although as an affiliated membership your still insured when running alone, but you run under general risk aswell for example if you get injured when running on snow/ice your not insured, I`m lead to beleive.

    To confirm please check with England athletics but I dont think I`m far off the facts, maybe I edge towards the cautous side

  • thanks - was just wondering, really. Many club runs I go out on aren't led by a coach or anything like that, just runners who tend to either know the routes well or are more experienced members of the group. Always best to check the documents I suppose image

  • We live in a time of sue first ask questions latter,  15 years ago I`d come back from a club run on a dark winters night wearing a black tee shirt a dark leggings having run down unlight country lanes and thinking about nothing more than do I have any grip left on my trainers. now I wonder if I need to have a doctor driving out with us and a police escort, while we`re covered head to foot in bright yellow and flashing lights.
  • Yes, absolutely. I wish I had bought shares in flourescent material manufacturing companies 15 years ago.
    It may be getting to the stage where we need to go out beforehand round a training route to make sure any sharp corners are covered with sponge and brightly coloured tape.

    Anyway enough of this image Good luck Christopher with your new club! 

    And on serious note, the England Athletics website has a fair bit of info on setting up a club and "affiliating" to EA, at least it used to. Also if you trawl round a few existing club websites you can get a feel for what kind of organisation they have, you may even get to see things like club constitutions etc.

     I think I should go out for a run now the snow's stopped.

  • thanks guys... very helpful.

  • Of course you could always affiliate your club to the Association of Running Clubs (ARC) and avoid the bureaucracy. ARC run leaders do not need to attend a training course. ARC run leaders need to be experienced and sufficiently knowledgeable. In order to provide the required knowledge ARC have produced Guidance Notes for leaders of endurance training groups. Affiliation to ARC provides public liability insurance for the club, club officials and all club members whilst they take part in club activities. ARC affiliation is generally cheaper than UKA/England Athletics affiliation and the insurance cover is much better.
  • SlugstaSlugsta ✭✭✭
    You say that there are other clubs in your area so I think you need to work out what is going to be different about yours. You will need something more than 'I fancied starting my own' to sell it to other runners.
  • thanks michael, and slugsta, i totally appreciate your comment... and know i'll need a good approach to attract runners.

    i'll spend some time working what that approach will be, before i set about recruiting!!!

     ha, cheers!!

  • You need to be really keen on admin - thats the lifeblood of clubs - meetings, minutes, accounts, newsletters etc.

    Plus it wont be your club - it will be the runners. As soon as you let other people join you will start to lose control over it.

    If you are fine with that - then go ahead. Personally I'd look at the existing club - youll have much more time to run that way.
  • I Started a club in september 2010, similar idea to yourself there is other clubs in my area but I felt a desire to be involved in something new!

    Originally we formed as a run in england group and I attended the leadership in running course, after a month it was obvious that run in england did not meet our needs or seem to provide value for money, so after a bit of research the obvious step forward was to affiliate with ARC (association of running clubs)

    Initially I made contact with my local gym, put my idea to them and they agreed to allow me to run my sessions from there, this gave my members car parking & changing facilities.

    On the first night we had 12 turn up, since then membership has grown and we now get around 50 runners on a regular basis each session.

    Only recently as membership has grown to manage the club efficently I formed a commitee and this has helped with the workload involved in running the club.

    We are now currently working hard on planning our first annual 10k race which is proposed for next summer.

    Hope it all goes well.

  • That's some nice work Mark, from scratch to a regular 50..and who knows where in the future.

    I swear my club are working in the opposite direction at the moment image

    What are the biggest factors that you think are attracting people in?

  • Hi Stevie,

     The main attraction is that we cater for absaloute beginners and we dont take everything too serious!

     Our sessions are often varied and many of our members stay behind after the session to have some food and chat together in the restuarant of the David Lloyds that we host our sessions from.

    So the main reason why we have been successful in a short period of time is based upon our slogan

    "Get Fit.....Lose Weight......Train for a race......HAVE FUN!"

Sign In or Register to comment.