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The time has come when I seem to have outstayed my welcome at my running club. I'm both saddened and annoyed as I was there on the very first session six years ago along with five other nervous soles. The club was set up by a keen group of triathletes for triathletes and initially we had run sessions, masters, circuit training, brick sessions - pool/turbo/run, turbo session & guided long runs & rides rides.
However as members numbers increased the sessions decreased down to one run session a week. Compared to other running clubs this was poor and compared to triathlon clubs it was embarrassingly lacking. The club was over run with runners and triathletes seemed to become second class members or referred to by club captain as the 'nutters'.
Believe me over the years I fought for more sessions & also looked after the slower runners including fighting a rule that you had to be able to run 10k in less than an hour to attend the interval session ( in fact the only club session). This is not a club of elite runners by any standard. The club tag line on the website - Friendly local running club where nobodies left behind is so far from reality it's laughable.
This summer the committee asked for suggestions and ideas of how to develop the club. They received many emails and a few carrots of new sessions were dangled - swimming, circuit training & turbo. Only actually one has materialised - Swimfit back on the calendar to replace Masters and has proven popular with max attendance each week over last two months. However many other suggestions were ignored or rejected, seems the committee doesn't like change and not ready to offer more for its members.
I became the black sheep of the club as I openly made suggestions, offered information and recommended local races & events. Cue censorship and public whipping on Facebook. This was initiated by one committee member who for reasons unknown to me or others took a dislike to me. Who knows why ?
This week was the final straw, it's gone too far - too political and far too personal. So reluctantly I'm stepping away to simmer down and decide on next years options regarding clubs.
On a positive note within 3 hours of selling my club kit and announcing I was moving on I've had offers to join 5 other local running or tri clubs Or I may take a year out and race as unaffiliated, keep my British Triathlon Membership and race in Pirate colours.
Members, coaches and clubs change that's life. But this club hasn't grown with my triathlon needs. I actually realised back in the summer that I needed to look for help outside of the club for my long distance triathlon racing , so I got a coach, joined a cycling club and raced in Pirate colours. Through these new links I got more support, encouragement, ideas, training sessions, advise, made new friends and more training mates, PB's, covered more miles, guided around new routes, conquered new challenges - my first 70.3 all in six months and more than the previous six years !
I've been encouraged by words of support from my old club members & friends for my braveness (or stupidity) in speaking up. In reality it's a relief that I've made the decision, no more stress, disappointment or disrespect. I've cut ties and culled my Facebook friends !
Moving on feels good. thanks to the Pirate for a fresh, supportive no nonsense attitude.