Running Groups In Staffordshire

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New Kids On The Bloke Show Promise

Sedgely at parkrun

Strictly speaking we’re cheating including Sedgley Striders in this In Your Area feature as this new club is actually based in the West Midlands but they’re close to the boundary and until the 1960s Sedgley was in Staffordshire. Anyway, here goes …

The main reason we were keen to feature the Striders is that there’s is a nice story and one that highlights the way running has pushed out to a broader audience and really fired people’s enthusiasm.

Sedgley Striders began life in a pretty casual way - four mates, all keen runners themselves, thought they’d like to help new runners to get started. Also they felt Sedgley could do with with their own group. The original members - Tim Lake, Matthew Price, Nigel Bolton and Dave Bytheway - had years of experience and have taken part in races from 5k to 100mile and every distance in between. Why not put that experience to good use?

So in September 2014 they created a group aimed at those who had done very little or no running previously. The uptake was good and numbers increased up towards 20 on both a Tuesday and Thursday, the two nights that the group met. By Christmas 2014 the numbers and interest was growing and the decision was made to turn the group into an affiliated running club.

2015 was a bit of a whirlwind. Numbers continued to grow - there are now 60 plus Striders. It’s a predominately female crowd with a real interest from beginners who want to run in a group and enjoy the camaraderie, motivation and safety. For some individuals, progress has been remarkable - runners who initially struggled on their second mile have now completed half marathons.

Recently the club threw a first birthday party which doubled as the awards night - we’ve seen the trophies - very classy! The big night was a great way to bring the first year to a fitting conclusion with lots of terrific memories and ambitious plans to take Sedgley Striders forward.

Progress continued with a ‘bring a friend’ night in early December which provided a few new recruits. Plans are also being finalised for another beginner’s course in early 2016. An earlier course received encouraging feedback, especially the course’s finale at West Park in the local parkrun where a big contingent of Striders cheered home the graduates!

There has also been talk of hosting a club race - a 5k or a 5 mile event. The emphasis here would be on participation and making the event attractive to new and ‘early stage’ runners. There has also been discussion about staging a ‘festival of running’ with multiple race distances around Dunstall Park Racecourse with the aim of getting people of all ages and abilities involved. The Striders would also love to have the use of indoor facilities and are looking for options.

They’re an ambitious crew in Sedgley but the Striders have come a long way in a short time so don’t be surprised if runABC Midlands is reporting soon of more exciting running developments in the town.

New members are always welcome – it doesn’t matter if you are a complete beginner or an experienced runner. The club has all abilities ranging from sub 20min 5k runners, to run-walkers. Sedgley Striders meet at the Three Crowns, Dovedale Road, Sedgley at 7pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Follow @sedgleystriders on Twitter.