Running Groups In Greater Manchester

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Have we missed something? If you know of or operate a running group in the Greater Manchester area and would like to add it to our list, then get in touch with us here


Focus On Chester Roadrunners

Chester Road Runners

WELL KNOWN for its iconic racecourse, Chester is now gaining a reputation for a thriving running scene.  Here, we take a look at how one of its new groups, Chester Road Runners, reflects the growing popularity of the sport ...

CHESTER IS IN the enviable position of hosting one of the country’s most popular marathons - the race was voted the UK’s number one two years ago.  The critical acclaim of the event highlights how attractive the city is as a racing venue.  That and an eager core keen to get involved means that Chester is a city on the move.       
   One of the most recent additions to the scene, Chester Road Runners, have proven to be a hit with locals.  Established just over one year ago, the group already boasts over 40 registered members, with attendance consistently high.  Run England affiliated, Chester Road Runners is primarily aimed at encouraging newcomers and supporting beginners in a welcoming environment.  This ethos is promoted and instilled by group leader and UKA Level 2 coach, Louisa Hallas.
   Louisa explains why she set up Chester Road Runners: “I guess I just wanted to give people who were starting out in running some support and a reason to keep going.  Using the theories that I researched at university, together with my coaching badges I tried to create an environment that people new to running would find supportive and want to come back to week after week.”
   Louisa added: “We are a Run England group and as such we aim to encourage people to enjoy running as a sociable habit.  There are opportunities to join in on group races, parkrun, charity events and the odd social night.
   “Joanne Hutcheon (group leader) and I offer an ‘e-coach’ service via social media/email with posts and tweets designed to answer those burning questions about running.  Along with the usual motivation and banter from the rest of the family at Chester Road Runners, there are plenty of reasons to keep you going in between training.”
   A regular training week for Louisa and the members usually involves a speed, hill or interval session on a Sunday morning (how cruel!).  A social run around the city on a Wednesday evening, where walking and jogging for newer members is actively encouraged.  Sessions are conducted at Westminster Park, through the city centre or along the river, weather and light permitting.
   This pattern has proven to be successful, with members quickly acclimatising to the rigours of regular running and the interval sessions.  And the results are encouraging - two members successfully finished the Helsby Half Marathon in January, one of whom, Drew Skinner, started in 2013 as a complete beginner.
   Most members have now identified local events such as the Chester Santa Dash, Chester Half and even the full 26.2 of Chester Marathon as targets for 2014.  In addition, a few runners have acquired bikes since the club has started and have entered triathlons.
   On the group’s training, Louisa comments: “We aim to show that starting out in running can be enjoyable when done as part of a group.  Our sessions are relaxed, informative and structured to cater for all abilities to provide a running experience that will help educate you to the ‘secrets’ of running, as well as providing a healthy workout.”
   Just as the sessions provide a framework for improvement, Louisa also places a strong emphasis on the social side of the group: “We’re a very friendly bunch and always welcome new people with open arms.  All of us value support over competition and I think this has served us well, both in terms of expanding membership and making it an enjoyable group to be a part of.”
   Chester Road Runners meets every Sunday 10.30am-11.30am and Wednesdays at 6.30pm-7.30pm. 

More information on the group is available on the Run England website or Facebook page.


Article featured in Northern Running Guide Spring 2014

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