Running Groups In The North East

Running groups are aimed at beginners and those whose emphasis is on fun and fitness, letting people run in a safe and friendly environment, building up a camaraderie with fellow runners.

If you know of or operate a running group in the North East and would like to add it to our list, then get in touch with us here



Coastbusters in Mull

Dawn Clennett tells runABC North how being a member of her local choir led to the formation of running group Coastbusters Hartlepool.

When learning that a group is called Coastbusters it’s difficult not to envisage runners donning matching flight suits and proton packs as they run through the streets of New York together. Suffice it to say, Hartlepool Coastbusters take a more conventional approach to their sessions. Founder and group leader, Dawn, explains: “The name of the club really stems from the fact that as we live right on the coast a lot of our runs tend to start from there.”

Dawn started running in 2009, initially to lose some weight. “Running was ideal as it fitted into my lifestyle and was free! I started off very slowly – one minute of running and three minutes of walking – and gradually built it up from there.” After improving, it wasn’t long before friends and acquaintances were asking for Dawn’s advice on running. To say they were singing her praises is not too far off the mark…“I’m a member of a ladies choir and they asked if I could start a group to help some of the girls train to complete the 5k Race for Life with Cancer Research UK.  That was in January 2014 and as the group was so successful we just kept it going and it evolved to include partners/boyfriends and friends/family.”

Given their multiple talents, are the group ever tempted to sing while they run? Dawn hasn’t dismissed this idea entirely: “We don’t sing while we run… Not yet anyway. But eventually, you never know!”

The group has since gone onto develop into two groups – a beginner’s group and an improver’s one. The group recruits new members twice a year – once in September and again in January.  “January’s a good one as everyone’s wanting to lose weight, and there’s also people who’ve made New Year’s resolutions to get fit,” Dawn explains.

The group takes an inclusive approach to new members: “Anyone who can run for 30 minutes or more is welcome to join at any point in the year. We never leave anyone behind and are a very friendly group who always encourage each other. The improver’s group tends not to run for longer than an hour. We sometimes combine the two groups. We go to various locations to keep it interesting. It’s a very laidback, relaxed approach to running so it’s not too competitive.”

Dawn does admit, however, that there is one element to the group that is competitive: “When we introduce games, that tends to bring out the more competitive side of our members. It’s all in good fun though – people just want to win!”

In addition to being group leader, Dawn is a passionate parkrun advocate, with her and other members taking part regularly in the Hartlepool parkrun. “I love the community feel of parkrun. Even the elite runners there give so much support to the recreational runners. There’s no snobbery and it’s a great way to introduce people to running.”

Coastbusters also enjoy regularly taking part in events, both locally and further afield. At the time of speaking to her, Dawn was preparing for one particularly well-known event. She explains: “I’m actually doing my first half this year – the Great North Run. I’ve done a lot of 10ks as it’s my favourite distance. Those include Sunderland 10K, Gateshead 10K, York 10K and Mull of Kintyre 10K. The list goes on…

Article featured in runABC North Nov/Dec 2015


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