Running Groups In Derbyshire

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Eastwood jog group

Eastwood Park Jog Group is part of the Jog Derbyshire initiative, designed to encourage people to take up running and become fitter and healthier. These sessions are relaxed, friendly and fun and a great way to meet people.

John Robinson and Craig Jenkinson originally set up the group, but sadly, John was killed in June 2015 whilst out on his bike, making it a difficult time for Craig and the group. However, everyone pulled together, providing support to each other that has ensured not only the group’s survival but its continued progress.

It is the friendliness that most attracts people to these weekly sessions, held every Thursday at Eastland Park Hasland. Craig’s wife Carla told runABC Midlands: “Craig began the group to help people start from the beginning and I am very proud of him for doing this. Watching people grow from joggers to runners is wonderful, and knowing he has helped them to do this is brilliant.”

One member who has come a long way is Joanne Yates. She always liked the thought of running, the freedom and escapism, but not having a ‘runner’s physique’ had put her off as she was worried about her appearance and being made fun of.  Then she heard about Eastwood Park Jog Group, for beginners!

Joanne was apprehensive at the thought of joining a group and kept putting it off. She told us: “If I am being brutally honest it took weeks for me to pluck up the courage to go. I’ll wait until after Christmas, etc.”

However, she finally took the plunge and attended her first run and put the group’s friendly and fun ethos to the test. The first time is the hardest and Joanne confirmed this, saying: “I felt like I’d been hit by a bus”. However, she was eager to go back for more.

She found the group leaders to be very enthusiastic and friendly, making her feel comfortable and a part of the group. They reassured her by saying that everyone has been a beginner at some point and that no one is left on their own during the run. The encouragement, friendliness and banter helped her to improve and she has progressed from running less than 3 miles to entering her first 10K in September.

Joanne enjoys the sessions and has been a member for 18 months, taking an active role in encouraging newcomers to stay and persevere, reassuring them that they will get better over time. Her summing up of the group includes a saying from one of the Jog Leaders: “we start out as joggers, we finish as friends.”

This camaraderie is evident in not only running but on the social side; for example, the group had a great night out last Christmas including drinks followed by a curry. They also like to give something back to their community and recently took part in a fundraising evening for Ashgate Hospice and Chesterfield Swimming Club.