Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Running club?

Here is another post that mysteriously sat around in my drafts folder waiting for me to click 'publish', can't work out why its been there for nearly 3 years but anyway some thoughts from back in the day when I was new to the run club world... Written Sept 2018...

Over the last little while I have been exploring and then enjoying running club life, which was initially born out of my experience of swimming classes early in the year which had a club feel. Coming from a history where I was once an active rowing club member it could be seen as a little odd that it has took me as long as it did to seriously consider and then join a running club. For a number of reasons I have arrived here and so I have been dipping my toe in the waters and have actually come to some conclusions.

My story was a tale of two clubs. There are of course many more than two clubs I connected with, and I suppose living in a capital city you could perhaps expect that. Although tracking them down can be a bit of a journey in itself.

Narrowing the list down to two clubs for me was based on the following considerations:
  • location
  • days of the week they meet
  • size of the club
  • outlook / ambitions of the average club member
  • UK Athletics (UKA) / Welsh Athletics (WA) affiliation - lets face it basically for event discounts, and insurance
  • facilities
  • kit
  • feel - perhaps the most subjective and one that ultimately sealed the deal
The two I visited were the Maindy Harriers and the Pegasus Running Club, and the first thing that has to be said was that both were fabulously friendly, approachable, welcoming and understanding. It felt a little cheeky saying "can I come along, not join, and have a couple of runs with you to see how it is?", but it was absolutely the right thing to do. I would encourage anyone to do the same - maybe the club is too competitive, or not competitive enough; maybe they don't offer as many sessions as you'd like; maybe you don't 'click' with the coach / run leader - whatever sense you get will help you decide and moreover help you get more out of being a club member.

I had the pleasure of doing a couple of sessions with the Maindy Harriers before I tried out Pegasus, and by the time I arrived at my first Pegasus session I was absolutely sold on joining one or other because club running just felt right. As a long time 'lone wolf' runner it was definitely the right time to come in from the 'cold'.

In the end I went with my heart because the Pegasus club is based out of a rowing club that I used to row for (the one that forms a lot of my earlier blog posts), and so it felt like a place I wanted to be associated with again (albeit in a new form).

Both clubs can be found in the Welsh Athletics club listings, by searching with a search engine, on social media (a Facebook search will find them).

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