Setting up a Running Club


I've been running for about 2 years now and am getting bored of running alone. Rather than join a local club
I thought I'd set up a running club at work. I immediatly got interest from about 30 people of various abilities. The club runs are due to start in a couple of weeks.

Could anyone offer me some advice on the following:

1) Organising training for mixed abilities.
2) Oranising small races (like where can I get race numbers?!)

Any advice would be appreciated.

Cheers Andy.


  • Andy,

    Running Imp, or Winning ways sell race numbers (you'll find their phone number in any running magazine). Economy numbers should cost around £8 per 100. You'll find loads of useful stuff there if you ask them for a catalogue, for ex. safety pins (box of 500) approx £6; 1000 platic cups £15; medals, trophies, etc....
    Your first step should be to contact the AAA though, who will be able to give you help as a race organizer. You should register your event with them for insurance purposes('won't cost you anything if your club's already registered), and you should have your course measured if you want it to be an official distance (5M or 10K for instance). Race measurers don't usually charge you either, but they'll probably accept a pint. Errr what else? Let me know if you still have questions (I had to go through all this last year, and it takes a while to get your head 'round it). Oh, if you're gonna have t-shirts, try 'Winner'; I was well pleased with them.

    As for training for mixed abilities, parlaufs usually work fairly well.
  • A quick idea Andy, would be to join all your work colleagues in the Road Runners Club so that they have insurance and can enter races at the reduced rate - also saves you a lot of hassle setting up a Club and getting it affiliated.

    If there is a local club, why not approach them and ask if one of their coaches would come and do a session with your group say, once a month? or contact your local gym and have a chat with a personal trainer for idea.

    Other suggestions for mixed ability groups are:
    Go out together then after a 5-10 min warm up, let the faster people go ahead, then do a loop of about a mile or so coming back up behind the slower group so that they can keep in touch every 10 minutes or so.

    Fartlek is a good idea - the faster people run back to meet the slower people on the recoveries.

    With 30 or so runners you could easily split it into 3 or 4 groups of differing abilities. You will need to find a couple of helpers to lead the groups that you don't lead yourself. My ladies groups have now split into 3 - i go with the faster group most of the time and discuss with the leaders of the other two groups what they are going to do before they go out. A couple of times a month i go out with the slower groups to see how they are doing and discuss what they want to do.

    Which area are you in? There maybe a forumite who could help.
  • NickJ and Dangly Spice (I won't even ask!),

    Thanks very much for you advice. I'll be having a look at everything you both said. I work for Cornhill Insurance in Guildford, Surrey. The number of the running club is rising by the day, we're now up to 41 and still 10 days to go until it starts?!

    If anyone has any other help or suggestions I'd gladly reveive it!

    Cheers Andy.
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