Running Clubs - joining more than one?

Thought I'd post this now as my club annual subscription starts in April... I find myself in the position where I feel affinity to 2 clubs in my area. I recently changed clubs (Sept 2012) as due to heavy traffic, often arrived at my previous club too late &  missed the warm up, etc.

Trouble is, although settled in the new club I really miss my old clubmates and have realised that the friendships made are more important to me than whether or not I can get to training on time.

Ideally I'd like to join both clubs - is this possible? How does it work with 1st claim, 2nd claim, etc?...I'd like the best of both worlds, but don't want to offend either running club. I have the advantage of living an equal distance to both clubs training grounds. I'm happy to pay for 2 x annual club membership fees, as running is my only hobby, so it's money well spent.

Would be interested to hear from anyone who has done this before - thanks.


  • There's nothing to stop you being a member of both.

    One is your first claim club, but you can be a member of others.  Neither should mind.


  • Thanks there anything to do in terms of informing my present club / welsh athletics or can I just join the 2nd club in april when their annual subscription starts?

    probably easiest if my current club remains 1st claim.

    Guess there may be a few people who work/live in different places who prefer to do this, rather than being tied to 1 club.

    Thanks again

  • Just join the second club when it suits you.

    Your first claim club will have registered you to WA (if you are a competing member).  I can't remember how the second club deal with WA, but they should know.  Make sure they know that the other club is your first claim.

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    Joining a 2nd claim is easy, just sign up, and write the other lot as 1st claim.

    Changing your 1st claim club is a trickier situation, quite fiddly.

    And just remember you can't ever count for your 2nd club in a competiton, unless it's a closed league that the 1st claim club don't enter into.

    I learnt this one last summer, when I presumed I could count for my 2nd lot in an open 10k event 40miles away from the 1st claim club.

    You can't. I found out when the prizes were being given out image

  • You can belong to as many clubs as you like.

    Usually the first club you join is your first claim, but you can pay EA £10 and complete a hardship form signed by both clubs to change to another club.

    Only pay your first claim club £10 for EA affiliation.

    There are not too many instances where you can run second claim, not even when your first claim club isn't represented in a race, but see above.

  • DF3 - too right! Speaking as some one who has transferred clubs a couple of times due to moving house and changing jobs in the last 10 years... Mind you the benefits of joining a club far outweight the negatives, so I can highly recommend it.

    Thanks again for the replies. I will make contact with the 2nd club and hopefully join in a few of their training sessions April onwards.

  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    It all depends in what you want out of the club.

    In my earlier days, I was a regular attendee at a club. But then I moved to more of an individual training plan so found I didn't want to ever turn up in the week. It was still worth keeping a club for entry to closed series events, like winter cross country events. My club actually pays for them! Great!

  • DustinDustin ✭✭✭

    Agree with Stevie - depends on what you want.
    Our club compete in 2 cross country leagues (11 races in total) and 3 track leagues. Not to mention summer race relay events. All entries paid for by the club.
    No politics at all DF in joining one club. The EA affiliation registers you to compete as an affiliate. Moving clubs you transfer over your EA registration (doesn't take long). Problem with 2nd claim as illustrated for race purposes, but for some, it suits.  

  • Yep, the AAs still see running as a sport from a bygone era where you only ever should run for a club within spitting distance of your birth place.

    They really need to realise the pain in the arse it is when you are forced to move home etc due to work, but have to put up with archaic rules to move running clubs.

    I understand why they want some control to stop top clubs poaching smaller clubs talent each season. But these rules are increasingly making the rank and file get very frustrated.

    Whilst the system supposed allows you to swop 1st claim for a tenner as described, club politics can still pay a part so beware. All clubs are nice when you join, but can get prickly when you need to move.

    I had a situation where I hadn't paid dues to run for a club in nearly 2 years, but still had to go through the rigmarole that club 1 still held my 1st claim registration. (I'd been out of the UK)

    If professional sports like football allow plays to do a Bosman, I doubt athletics clubs have any real power to block moves if ever challenged.
  • Stevie  GStevie G ✭✭✭

    It's quite unbelievable, that you sign up for a club for their membership year, yet they can in effect "hold" your registration beyond that, even though they're not paying you.

    All it would take is someone taking it to the courts, and if it is illegal in football where the club is actually paying you, how could it possibly be legal when you're not.

    Probably doesn't bother anyone enough in fairness!!

    And unless you have a particularly snitch team mate (like I had last summer), noone's going to stop you counting as a 2nd claimer in another race.

  • poeple have left our club mid season and have had their memberships changed between two weeks of racing so can't be completcated..unless you get animosity and then some stubborn person refuses to sign a bit of paper...if so then just hassle them night and day on their house phone until they do sign it..

    a call every half hour every night should work.


    seem to work fine is south wales but the problem would be if the clubs are close and enter all the same races so that you can only count for one team.......

  • Got my London Marathon place through my second claim club this year. It had one place, so I was lucky/unlucky depending on one's point of view.


    A member of my club moved from another club and took up ours as first claim.  It was all sorted very easily.

    As Seren says, it depends on how the 'old' club behave.

    If you just want to run with your club-mates, maybe do some races (but aren't anywhere near the pointy end). then there is no issue at all.

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