Surrey running group Cranleigh Sunflowers has followed up recognition by Women's Running magazine - runner-up in their Group of the Year competition - with the England Athletics South East Run England Group Award for 2012. The group was formed in 2009 and has made a big impact on the local running scene in a short period.
A highlight for the Sunflowers came last year when the group collectively ran '1000 miles in a day' for Help for Heroes in tandem with Tortoise and Hare Running Club and raised £4,500. The group also hosted a run for the Cranleigh Games to raise funds for their village hospital and have plans for another big fundraiser in 2013.
Cranleigh Sunflowers was set-up by Lucy Bushnell after she returned to running and relished the experience of going from a 'walk-jog' start to running London marathon via 5k, 10k and half marathon events. Lucy told southernrunningguide.com: "I really wanted to share what I had and still do experience. I still don't find it easy, its not natural to me. Others surely must feel the same and shy away from running, when they could be out there and feeling what I do. With all this in mind Cranleigh Sunflowers was set up.
"We are now a 60 strong group of like-minded ladies that run about and laugh! Everyone has their own reason for joining. They have their own targets and goals. We are all different ages and sizes but we have one thing in common, we love to laugh! Everyone is encouraged to take on new challenges and believe that they can do it but all in their own time and pace."
Find out more about Cranleigh Sunflowers at the group website.