Clubs in Lancashire
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As Lancaster and Morecambe AC celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, we caught up with club accreditation officer, Angus Murray. He tells us about the club’s development and its plans for the future.
“We haven’t organised anything for our anniversary yet,” Angus warns me. “But don’t worry, we’ll definitely have a celebration to mark the occasion,” he says reassuringly. Angus is clearly a busy man, with around 450 members of the club. Half of those, he explains, are younger members.
“We received a bit of an Olympic bounce after the 2012 Games in London, with a lot of younger members joining the club. The club focuses quite strongly on the junior side of things so it’s great to see so many young joining our ranks!”
Angus explains that the club “We want to their and pick up good habits. s.”
Despite the ‘athletics’ tag, the club is very welcoming to all types of runners: “We’re a friendly club and are open to members of all ages and abilities. We have members who can do 33-minute 10ks and others who are more recreational runners.”
The club meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Salt Ayre Sports Complex located midway between Lancaster and Morecambe. The sessions vary according to the abilities of the members taking part.
As well as the annual the annual Three Bridges 10K and Lancaster 10K race, a new event was introduced to the club’s calendar this year. And it could be set to become a regular feature.
Angus explains: “We held the Leg It With Eric 3K this year and it was a great success. The statue of Eric Morecambe was vandalised last year, with the leg being sawn off. It was replaced in January and the council wanted to do something to celebrate, so we organised a run along the prom. It was great fun as everyone was wearing Eric-style spectacles. Due to the novel nature of the event, it got a lot of press attention. It may become a regular event to replace our Keep it Ticking race, which we used to hold. Watch this space.”
On the subject of notable members from the past and present, one name springs to Angus’s mind. “Mark Croasdale was a former member who was very fast. He took part in the Man vs. Horse Marathon in Wales a few times and whilst he didn’t beat the horse, he came pretty close!”
A quick search online confirms this, with times of 2:08 in 2000, compared to his equestrian chum’s 2:10, and 2:19 in 2003 to the horse’s 2:02.
On the social side of things, the club organises several nights out and hold an awards ceremony at Christmas for senior members, and one for junior members in January. There is also an event that pits the younger members against the old guard…
Angus explains: “One of the events we arrange to get juniors and seniors together is the Candle Lit Run. It’s held at Christmas time and sees an adult drawn against a junior member. The adults usually specialise in road running and the kids in track and field. It’s run over 1.5k. Sometimes you can get a bit unlucky and race against a particularly fast kid. Though, it’s all in good fun of course. The event is held along an unlit cycle track so there are candles along the way since it’s Christmas.”
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Article featured in runABC North July-August 2015