Running Groups In Surrey
- Absolute Beginners, Bourne Sports Clubhouse, Farnham
- Any1canrun, Frimley Lodge Park, Camberley
- Ashtead Running Group, Ashtead Peace Memorial Hall
- Blackwater Beginners, Blackwater, Camberley
- Cranleigh Sunflowers, Co op Car Park, Cranleigh
- DMVAC Ranmore Middle Group, National Trust Car Park, Ranmore
- Edventure Running, Horton Park Golf & Country Park, Epsom
- Epsom Allsorts Beginners, Horton Country Park
- Epsom Runners, Court Recreation Ground
- Farnham Runners, Bourne Sports Clubhouse
- Goldsworth Park Runners, Goldsworth Park, Woking
- Guildford Snails, Guildford Spectrum
- Guildford Women's Runners, Guildford Spectrum
- Happy Feet Running Group, Heathervale Recreation, Addlestone
- Haslemere over 50s, Herons Leisure Centre, Haslemere
- Human Race Running Club, Leatherhead
- HBAC Beginners Group, Devils Punch Bowl, Hindhead
- Hermitage School Run, Hermitage School, Woking
- Inspired-2-Run, Dorking Sports Centre
- Molesey Running Group, Hurst Meadow Minor, Molesey
- Nonsuch Park Running Group, Mansion House, Cheam
- Oxted Runners Beginners, Limpsfield Chart
- Paleo Training Bible, Virginia Water Lake,
- Polesden Beginners Group, National Trust Polesden Lacey, Great Bookham
- Quadrant Court Joggers, Quadrant Court, Woking
- Rachel's Runners, Woking Park
- Reigate Ladies Joggers, Reigate Park
- Run Group, Guildford Spectrum
- Run 4 Mum,Oatlands Area, Weybridge
- Running Works, Epsom
- Run With Royston
- Arena Leisure Centre, Camberley
- Running Matters, Brookwood Memorial Hall, Woking
- SRC Woking, Sweatshop, Woking
- St John's Run for Fun, St John's Lye, Woking
- Sun Run, various Dorking
- Tandridge Trust Running Club, Destafford Sports Centre, Caterham
- Tortoise2Hare Group
- UK Fit Surrey, Windsor Great Park, Virginia Water
- West Byfleet Run Club, West Byfleet Recreation Ground
- Woking Runners, Woking Leisure Centre
RunEngland is going from strength to strength in Surrey where Darryl Gheerawo in his role as Run England Activator is coordinating a range of initiatives to support existing groups in their development, to encourage new groups and to introduce new resources like the 3-2-1 routes.
There is now a very wide network of RunEngland groups across the county and these are an ideal way for beginners and occasional runners to get involved and to benefit from the fitness and social benefits of group running. Our profile group - Cranleigh Sunflowers, is a great example of how these's group work and how much fun and enjoyment they provide. Check out our list of Run England groups in Surrey on page 93.
A key area of development for RunEngland in Surrey is the Leadership in Running Fitness Qualification. Through his various networks Darryl publicises the Leadership courses which are held regularly in Surrey and provide excellent training for enthusiastic runners or experienced club members who want to develop the skills need to organise and lead groups of beginners. Financial support, 50% of course costs, are available plus incentives that mean leaders get RunEngland merchandise based on numbers of new members they recruit. New members themselves receive £15 of Sweatshop vouchers when they sign up for the free membership scheme. For more details contact Darren.
Darren has also been working to establish 3-2-1 routes - marked out courses of 3, 2 and 1 miles, kilometres or laps - which provide suitable practice distances for new runners. Planned locations are Banstead Wood, Reigate Park, Polesden Lacey and Royal Holloway (Egham).
For more information about all the RunEngland initiatives mentioned visit their website
Focus On Cranleigh Sunflowers
Now in its fourth year Cranleigh Sunflowers is one of Surrey's big running success stories. Double award winners - Run England's top south-east group and Women's Running Magazine's group of the year runner-up - in 2012, the Sunflowers were founded by the effervescent Lucy Bushnell and now boast 70 active members who meet regularly, target top races like Brighton marathon and Silverstone half and have a lots and lots of fun along the way.
Lucy highlights a group ethos that developed when she started running herself: "I had recently had twins, had never though of myself as an 'athletic' type and only agreed to join my friend on a short 'run' to get me out of the house. It took nearly an hour to go 5k, and at the end I felt sick. But something made me persevere and I completed a Race for Life 5K soon after, followed that up with a 10k and an autumn half marathon. I'd caught the bug!
“None of it was very fast but I loved it and was amazed as my weight dropped, my body shape changed and my self-confidence grew. It was a life-enhancing experience and one that I wanted to share.
“That's was the seed for the Sunflowers and soon the group was formed, meeting regularly and attracting new members. Our approach was always an inclusive one, keen to recruit women for all backgrounds and levels of fitness and let them bloom in a supportive environment.
“The group grew in strength and we developed a Tuesday-Friday-Sunday programme, and sessions that included longer easy runs, sprints and monthly circuits and time-trials. We also introduced some daft things - the '12 days of Christmas' was a warm-up routine with a festive twist; while 'Dishes and Domes' was an excellent team-building routine that had our normally well-behaved Surrey ladies pushing and shoving each other for all they were worth.
“Longer runs are on Fridays and we sometimes incorporate a Magical Mystery Tour element when we invite someone to take the lead. There's some nice countryside around Cranleigh and often we end up in pleasant woodland or climbing hills - hard work but the scenic views at the top make it worthwhile. We can sometimes get into trouble on these runs and more than once we've ended up in muddy bogs. Our most dramatic adventure came when we were 'attacked' by a hot balloon in descent.
“Usually though leaders Melissa, Julia, Tara, Kirsty and Debbie have things under control. And with Kate, Amy, Becky and Angela now taking additional responsibilities we are able to provide a good level of support for individual members. A key principle of the group is that people can progress at their own pace and even the slowest runners will have company throughout the session.
“The Sunflowers are a really mixed bunch and we get as big a kick out of someone coming back for a second week after a nervous introduction or completing their first 5k without stopping as we do from one of our veterans achieving a marathon PB. It was great to see Alex running a great half marathon at Silverstone in 1 hour 57 minutes then waiting for over an hour at the finish line to cheer on Becky and Gemma completing their first 13.1 mile event. That kind of sums up the group ethos."
Lucy Bushnell underlined two other factors behind the success of Cranleigh Sunflowers. A terrific social dimension - regular quiz nights, pizza and tapas treats; and great backing from partners and families, both in enabling members to attend sessions and providing support on race days and on social occasions.
And Lucy's proudest time as a Sunflower? "There have been a few poignant moments - I seem to be brushing aside a tear on a regular basis! But maybe the day we buddied up with Tortoise and Hare RC and collectively ran '1000 miles in a day' for Help for Heroes raising £4,500. That was a bit special."