In Your Area - Staffordshire

At the heart of England geographically Staffordshire is also at its heart in running terms. A brilliant events list, a great beginners’ programme and top retailers make for a happening county ...

Staffordshire is pretty much in the middle of England and the M6 motorway which dissects the county south to north means it is a hub of commercial activity. In sharp contrast there are some surprisingly remote areas including the Staffordshire Moorlands with the highest village in Britain at Flash.

In the north and in the south the county is hilly, with wild moorlands in the far north and Cannock Chase an area of natural beauty in the south. In the middle regions the landscape is low and undulating so interesting terrain for runners who like to head for the great outdoors.

The county is home to over 1 million people with Stoke and the surrounding areas - Arnold Bennett’s much loved Five Towns - the most populous area. The other important towns include Tamworth, Newcastle and Stafford. And these are all home to flourishing running communities based around established clubs, a growing network of groups and some terrific events.

Any Staffs based enthusiast looking for an event should head to the website of the North Staffordshire Road Runners Association and choose from the 23 events they list (20 in the formal association programme with three reserves). The Association has been successfully promoting competitive running (and indirectly participation) for over 40 years - check out Ken Rushden and Graham Flethcer’s book NSRRA the Second Twenty Years for the full story.

The NSRRA programme commences with the popular Alsager 5 in February and concludes with the Flying Fox in November and includes everything from 5k to marathon distance and all points in between. A handful of dedicated runners completed the full programme in 2015 including plucky Hazel Barlow. The Michelin AC veteran might not be threatening course records but she is indomitable and always on the start line!

Meanwhile at the beginner level, the Staffordshire Beginner Runner Project has made a big impact in recent years introducing many new runners since 2012, plus training leaders and establishing a number of new groups. One group that has been prolific is Stoke F.I.T. (Friends In Training) - they have fielded over 200 participants at their local parkrun - Hanley - recording times from 18 to 40+ minutes..

Talking about Hanley parkrun - it was launched four years ago with 17 finishers; 31 October 2015 saw a turnout of 290. This running lark is only going one way in Staffordshire - north!

One other big plus for running in the county is a network of specialist retailers. Bourne Sports in Stoke is a long established name and provides a great selection of shoes and clothing - plenty of high viz stock just now to make your winter running safe. They also have a nice range of kids gear. In the south of the county Run and Ride has branches at Stafford and Hednesford - see Matt and the team’s top winter kit suggestions elsewhere in this edition. And over in Burton you’ll find a helpful Phil Dutton at Running Form. In addition their partner operation Physio Form offers a respected physiotherapy and sports injury service.

We are compiling a list of running groups, clubs, stores and facilities in Staffordshire. If you would like to add information to our listing please get in touch with us.

Clubs

The best way to improve your running - join one of the region's active running clubs.

Groups

A friendly way to run with other people.

Services

Where can you find local physiotherapy, sports massage & other services for runners.
 

Running Retailers

Specialist running retailers

 

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