Running clubs in Kent

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There are numerous well-established running clubs throughout Kent providing those who take their running seriously an opportunity to join like-minded people for training session and race competitions.

 

CLUB FOCUS - REBEL YELL

It is rare to find a race in Kent without Rebel Runners Medway being seen and heard. runABC South has been finding out about the noisy neighbours…


Rebel Yell

When and how did the club form?

A few running friends met on a freezing January morning in 2014 and decided that Facebook would be a good way to plan training and races. We called our page Rebel Runners. Within four months the response had encouraged us to register with Run England and Jenny Baldock was our first qualified leader. Six months later we were UK Athletics affiliated and now have more than a dozen Leaders in Running Fitness and 300 plus members!  

Why Rebel Runners?

The name is a bit tongue in cheek but gets us noticed. We are unlike most clubs in that we truly embrace all runners from ‘couch to 5k’ up to elite. While we were known as Rebel Runners a photo appeared in the local paper after the Paddock Wood Half Marathon. We added Medway so people would know where we were from. 

Tell us about your membership …

We offer membership from 83p a month! Members pay £10 for social membership (option to add £12 for UKA registration). We hold our well attended ‘couch to 5k’ courses twice a year and membership fees fund Run Leader courses, equipment, affiliation fees and track hire. At the end of 2014 we had 85 competing members – we now have 170. Our youngest is 12-years-old and we have 18 junior members.  

What about the training?

We meet for evening runs all over the Medway towns and support our local parkrun at Great Lines Heritage Park on Saturday mornings. This is where we met the charismatic run director, Tony Giles, one of our keenest members. Once a month we use Medway Park track at Gillingham for speed/endurance. Run routes, ability levels and other details are posted on Facebook and the club website.

Club’s best achievements …

We had 80 at the Medway 10K this year and our ladies were first and second individuals, won three age categories and first team prize – our first such success and in our ‘home’ race, too. We won the Demelza Club Shield at the Leeds Castle 10K in September with 61 runners present and were able to make dreams come true for two lucky members in the club ballot for London Marathon places in 2016.

And you are a sociable club?

We certainly have a sense of fun. We run a #RebelSpotted game each month. Rebels can get spotted whilst out running (but only if in club kit and not at a club run) and the winner gets a bottle of fizz.

‘Rebels on Tour’ is another favourite. We have had Rebels in club colours photographed at The Great Wall of China, The Kremlin and the Golden Gate Bridge. Many of our runners run for charity so there is always a quiz night or raffle tickets to buy.

When our local parkrun was closed one weekend we deployed Rebels to parkruns far and wide. We covered every age category in the results as 76 members and two dogs visited 34 parkruns, ran 380kms and clocked 7,480 road miles, plus two boat trips.

Rebels on tour?  

The club regularly goes on road trips. The 2014 Brighton Marathon saw 28 Rebels competing, with 20 running their first marathon. Looking ahead we will be present at the Las Vegas Half Marathon, Paris Marathon and there are 10 with places in London Marathon next year.

Any unusual incidents along the way …

Perhaps the wardrobe malfunction suffered by Sara who arrived at the Brands Hatch 10K with two odd shoes – different makes, colour and sizes! She did not manage a PB that day in the shoes she had to borrow.

The club in three words ...

‘One big family’.

Interview featured in runABC South Jan-Feb16

 

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