Running Clubs In South Yorkshire

 

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Steel City Striders

There are many well established running clubs in South Yorkshire. They create a network of which lets anyone who wants to run fairly seriously, join liked-minded people for training and race competition.

Being part of a club is a great way of motivating yourself and improving your performance. Clubs will usually meet twice a week, often for programmed sessions, and there can be opportunities for other organised runs. It's also a great way to make friends and to get involved in social activities.

Clubs come in various shapes and sizes - some focus exclusively on road and trail running others have junior sections and take part in a range of track and field events. Hill running is a big part of some clubs while some others can be more focused on speed over flat terrain.
 
Steel City Striders are dubbed ‘the friendliest club in Sheffield’. We speak to Strider Mick Wall to find out if they live up to the billing and why Sheffield runners shouldn’t be put off by the city’s hills …


When was the club formed?
In 1982 at the time of the first Sheffield Marathon.

Where and when do you meet up?
We run sessions all over Sheffield throughout the week that are led by fully qualified and experienced England Athletics run leaders and coaches. Members also hold impromptu training sessions at weekends, usually organised through our Facebook page.
 
On Monday evenings we have multiple groups running various paces/distances round Heeley. Then on Tuesdays we have a single group daytime session of 8 to 10 miles round Millhouses. In the evenings we have an urban speed session, also in Milllhouses. On Wednesday evenings we have multiple groups running various paces/distances round Hillsborough and also Graves. And on Thursdays we hold a track session at Woodburn Road Stadium.

How many members are there?
We currently have 430 members and are delighted that our female contingent just keeps growing and growing!

The club is billed as ‘the friendliest running club in Sheffield’, do you welcome all ages and abilities?
We welcome anyone aged 16+ and our main training nights are geared to people who can run 6 miles and upwards.  At Heeley and Hillsborough we always have a group that only goes 6 miles in around 65/70 minutes so that newcomers are not put off by longer and faster runs. We also regularly run 5k to 10k courses helping people bridge the gap between parkrun and 10k so that people can then join our main training nights.  These have been very successful and lots of current members came through that programme.

Do you organise your own events?
Yes, several! The 7.1 mile Salt Cellar fell race is held in August and is set against the stunning backdrop of the Derwent and Ladybower reservoirs in the Peak District. We also organise the Percy Pud, South Yorkshire’s most popular 10k each year, which takes place on the first Sunday in December. The event has grown in popularity from the first race in 1993 when 600 finished the race to recent years when the entry has had to be limited to around 2,200. Such is the demand for numbers that in each of the last 10 years the race has sold out ahead of time. The 2013 race was no exception, as the race limit was reached within two weeks of the entries opening, in 2014 this was 36 hours and in 2015 it took just two hours to sell 2,200 entries.

Why is it so popular?
Traditionally each finisher in the race receives a Christmas pudding for their efforts. Food and seasonal music are provided after the race. Of course, the route is not bad either. For many, the Percy Pud signals the start of Christmas.

Is there a strong social element to the club?
We have a flourishing social scene. We organise curry runs, we’ve had board game nights, trips to greyhound racing, coach trips to out of town races and Christmas do’s to name just a few. There is also talk of a Striders Superstars coming this summer in homage to the BBC programme of the ‘70s and ‘80s.

What’s Sheffield like for running?
We have some fantastic routes – many on our doorstep.  New runners can often see the hills created by the valleys as off-putting, but they really do make you stronger. Once you’ve run around Sheffield for a while you get used to them, then when you go out of town racing to a flat course you can really fly.

 
Find out more at the Steel City Striders website.

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