Running Groups In Gloucestershire
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Group Focus - Hucclecote Harriers
Founded On Facebook
The power of social media is behind the rise of Hucclecote Harriers. We find out more …
A Gloucestershire running group that perfectly demonstrates the power of social media is Hucclecote Harriers. The village group was instigated in March 2015 by civil servant Ben Oldlady, a keen runner looking for people to train. He explains: “It started by going onto various associated Facebook groups - anything with Hucclecote in the name I just put a little message on there to say when and where I’d be going for a run and if anyone wants to join me, then come along.
“I did that for about four weeks and on the first night about 25 people turned up.” Now the group has about 250 members on its Facebook page with a hardcore of 40 runners turning up weekly.
“It’s every Tuesday night, we meet at the War Memorial. Usually 7.30pm, but now the light is fading it’s more like 7pm. We do a six week rotation, so we do something different every week for six weeks. Then at the end of week 6, we revert to week 1 and we do that rotation three times in a row.
“Then at the end of the three sets of six weeks we choose a new set of six runs to do. One week might be a sprint training session for an hour at the field, another week we run up a hill called Stump Lane, which is exactly a mile long from bottom to top. We run up and down that.
“Other times we might do off road running and split into three or four groups by ability level. Some days we might do a straightforward road run where we split into groups and it will be anything from 5k to 12k.
“Then we might also do a 20 minute out and 20 minute back run. Obviously the better you are the further out you go and it’s a test to see how far you can get out each time to see if you are improving. We also do a circuit based running exercise, it includes running drills, lunges and tyre drags, resisted running – just something different to work the muscles.
“Men, women, young, old, every running ability goes and we’ve run a ‘Couch to 5k’ as a separate group. The minimum requirement is to be able to run maybe two miles at whatever speed you like. But there are those who can only run one mile who can come to the out-and-back weeks.
“We’re different to most in that we are a community-group run by each other. We have got as many as 15 people who can take their turn to lead the group. With a rugby referee, bank clerks, hairdressers, police officers, and refuse workers among the group, the Harriers are an eclectic mix. But there is something in the air that keeps them coming back every Tuesday.”
If you want to find out more or join, simply apply to be a member via the Facebook group Hucclecote Harriers