Friday running group had small beginnings

PUBLISHED: 14:49 17 December 2010

The lead runner just a few hundred metres from the finish line on Saturday. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exsp 7274-49-10SH

The lead runner just a few hundred metres from the finish line on Saturday. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exsp 7274-49-10SH


Contrary to what some might think, membership of a Running Club does not necessarily mean competing in races.

In fact, the majority of runners seldom, if ever, enter a race. For this reason, clubs provide for every ability and type of running activity.

The idea of the Friday Group comes out of my time when I worked at Bath in the 1980s. A group of us felt it would be a good idea to escape from the laboratories for an hour during the lunch break. We would go out two or three times a week and enjoy the beautiful scenery around Bath. I don’t think the boss always approved!

When I moved to Devon and joined Sidmouth Running Club, I thought it might be a good idea to replicate this group.

It started in a small way with John Perratt and Bill Valentine coming over to East Budleigh about once a month. From these small beginnings, the Winter-daylight group, as it was first called, was born.

We are a group of mixed ages, both men and women, which meets up at various starting points usually within five miles of Sidmouth.

People have come and gone depending on personal circumstances, but the core group has remained constant. We enjoy running over different terrains and experiencing the changing scenery.

We have different leaders each week and we run for about 75 minutes with short breaks.

The leader is expected to go over the route the previous week so as not to get the group lost! We meet Friday mornings at 11am. This seems to be the most convenient time and is good preparation for those who run competitively at the weekend.

We have a short break in the summer. Sometimes we have special occasions like meeting at the Donkey Sanctuary followed by lunch, a Christmas get-together at a local hostelry or a summer picnic and swim on Western Beach.

Details can be found on the club website

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