Running Clubs In Worcestershire

 

At A Glance Malvern Joggers

We take a look at award-winning club Malvern Joggers, and look at the contribution they make to both to Worcestershire running and their local community...

Malvern Joggers

Running clubs in the 21st century come in all shapes and sizes and they are imaginative in their activities, taking inspiration from all sorts of sources to create vibrant, popular and varied groupings. And that is definitely the case with Malvern Joggers who break the mould, if such a thing exists any longer, in a number of ways.

Firstly, they are ‘summer gypsies’, leaving behind their winter base at MSJ Sports & Fitness Centre and literally ‘heading for the hills’. Wednesday nights sees an enthusiastic crew of joggers meet up at various locations in the nearby Malvern Hills. They have 3 or 4 set runs that start at different places allowing members to sometimes have a short journey to base point and sometimes a longer one. It also means that they take full advantage of the brilliant views available across scenic Worcestershire and Herefordshire.

The way that the summer runs are organised reflects the nature of the club. Club chair Carl Flint explains: “We go out in a number of small groups with paces ranging from walk/run to 8.5 minute miles and faster. Places for everyone across a very wide range. We pride ourselves in making everyone welcome and making sure that all our runners are looked after at a session.”

Carl continued: “We’ve grown as a club that is an important part of the local community. We were established in 2003 and for a couple of years we were quite a small group but then we put a notice in the local paper and almost overnight we were transformed into a medium-sized club with a growing reputation. In the way of things in a rural town we became the ‘go to’ place for people taking up running or wanting to get fit.

“Today we have around 200 members, are allocated four places for London Marathon and take a quiet satisfaction in being one of the county’s most active clubs. We organise the Malvern 10K which has developed into a top Worcestershire event and had 300 entries for the 2014 race. We get big contingents from Black Pear Joggers - they usually head back home with a few prizes, Tewkesbury AC and Almost Athletes.

“I’m pretty sure they come for the challenging, mostly off-road course, the splendid views south towards Gloucestershire and the sound organisation. However I’m told the free post-race curry - supplied by our valued supporters at the Vasai Restaurant - is a big attraction!”

“We’ve pegged entry for the Malvern 10K at £8 and our annual membership fee is very reasonable at £20 considering it also includes discounts at the Splash Leisure Complex, for various events and at the Vasai. We also have a well-established junior section which meets on Sunday mornings at the MSJ Centre.

“As at any club, we are hugely dependent on a hardcore of enthusiastic volunteers so a big ‘shout-out’ to Cathy Spence, Andy Dickinson and Andy Blanning who look after the juniors. Also to Neil Humpage, Steve Roode, social secretary Lynda Broadway and Mark Cooke.

“It’s the efforts of those guys and a number of others that mean Malvern Joggers provide a real service to the local community. A service that was recognised in 2012 when we were voted Club of the Year by Malvern Hills District Council.”

Not that it’s all ‘goody two shoes’ with the Joggers! We asked Chairman Carl about club trips but he was reticent mentioning a few low-key trips to Majorca, to Wales for Race the Train and a big group heading north to Crowle for the local 10K (one of the key events in the very healthy club championship). No mention of the bacchanalia at Liverpool in April!

Your correspondent has uncovered a “night of revelry in downtown Liverpool arriving home when the birds were singing and the sun was rising around 5.30am. We realised at this point that the planned park run wasn’t going to happen. After a few hours’ sleep we all got up around 10am to a full English breakfast.”

Fortunately the tourists dusted themselves off, slept soundly the night before and turned in some impressive performances at Liverpool Half Marathon. One member who probably resists the attractions of a ‘Full English’ is England international mountain runner Emma Gooderham and Emma and a handful of serious fell runners highlight another side of Malvern Joggers as a club with exceptional talent achieving rare feats.

Find out more about award-winning Malvern Joggers at their website

Article featured in Midlands Running Guide Autumn 2014

 

Running Clubs In Worcestershire

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