In the new year ahead, Bridport Runners will be competing in an even bigger number of races locally, in Britain and abroad than they did in 2018. The Bridport based running club will also support more people who want to get into running in 2019 but might find it hard to start the sport because of physical or mental reasons.
Sometime around the London Marathon (28 April), Bridport Runners will start the 10th edition of their popular ‘From Couch to 5k’. This six weeks’ training program will get every participant fit to run 5 kilometres (3 miles) without stopping – whether they had any or no experience in running before. Over the years, the course has motivated around 100 women and men to start running, and many have continued the sport.
Since 2016, there has been also a ‘well-being group’, which offers an easy entry into running and is a welcoming environment for people with mental health issues, as well. ‘All our training sessions are led by UK Athletics qualified ‘Coaches and Leaders in Running Fitness’”, explains Bridport Runners’ Chair Brian Shelley.
Prestigious road marathons and local trail events
The London, Edinburgh (26 May) and Paris (14 April) marathons are probably the most prestigious road marathons in which members of Bridport Runners will be starting in 2019. However, there will be many road and trail competitions in the region, as well, such as the Portland Coastal half-marathon (10 February), Colmers 10k Challenge (7 July) and Bicton Blister 10 miler (November).
Many of the latter races will be part of the Club’s own championship. This had its inauguration in 2018 with 37 club members doing 136 entries in total, out of a choice of 17 competitions. Winner of the championship was Ben Renshaw who competed in seven races and won two of them (Weymouth Bay 10k and Shave Cross Mini Marathon). Together with Adam Slater and Chris Monteith, Ben also won the trophy for 1st team in the Forde Abbey 10k.
This year, there will be more races in different locations and over different distances on offer. “We are a small but very social running Club”, says Adam who organizes the Club Championship. “This is why we do not only run and go to races together but meet for social events every now and then.”
A highlight for the whole running community in the South West will be the 7th Bridport Jurassic Coast Run on Sunday, 11th of August, with a 10k and a half-marathon distance. The course will be leading runners all the way up to the second highest hill on the South Coast, Thorncombe Beacon. The races are certified as fell races under the rules of the Fell Runners Association. Fell racing is considered one of the toughest forms of cross country running. Despite gales, rain and mist, last year’s Bridport Jurassic Coast Run attracted a record number of 167 athletes.
Catering for all abilities and distances
The Club, which has around 50 members now, caters for runners of all ages (17 years upwards), abilities and distances – from a 5k park run to an ultra-marathon. “There’s a rich pool of experience; you can ask us anything from training tips to running gear, from race recommendations to common runners’ injuries”, emphasizes Brian. Bridport Runners hope to inspire more people in and around Bridport to get into running in 2019 – whether it’s with the help of their regular club trainings and the ‘well-being group’ on a Wednesday night, the ‘From Couch to 5k’ course or the Bridport Jurassic Coast Run.