Are you a keen runner? With vast physical and mental benefits, including reduced risk of cancer and stress reduction, running is a great hobby to have. Not only is it healthy, but there are also few costs associated with running at an amateur level and it gives you a break from technology.
Whilst running alone can be fun, running as part of a group provides a whole host of additional perks, allowing you to meet like-minded people with a shared interest, try out new routes and learn from others.
Setting up a club yourself allows you to take control and can provide a nice sense of purpose separate from work.
If this is something that interests you, here are some tips on how to get started:
Whilst you can set up an informal running group with little to no admin, setting up something more official takes a little more time and there are procedures to follow.
You may need specific insurance and might require some funding to get the club up and running. As well as this, you will need measures in place to manage members’ data.
It could be wise to set up informally, to begin with, and run some taster sessions, this way you can make sure it is something you definitely want to do before going through the effort of completing necessary forms and dedicating time to research.
It is worth noting that chairing a running group can become a big responsibility, and it is wise to be a member of an existing club first before attempting to set up something of your own.
Select a base and routes
Once the admin has been dealt with you can begin making decisions on location. These can be made entirely based on the preferences of yourself and those in the group. Some running groups opt to run the same route weekly, whereas other groups have multiple routes which they use on rotation.
You also need to establish whether you are going to have a regular starting base point, or whether this will change frequently depending on your route. Having a set meeting point can be beneficial as it removes the logistical difficulty of getting everyone to new points each week.
Now that you have decided where to run, it is time to start advertising your club. To reach the widest audience possible you should consider using a combination of both digital and physical marketing.
Post about your club in local Facebook groups and consider setting up an Instagram page to promote the runs you have already done.
Invest in some signage that you can display locally, detailing when and where the group meets, any entry requirements, and where people can find additional information about the club. Think carefully about where to display your physical marketing, if you are looking for active people then a gym or the local park could be a good place to start. Make sure to get permission before distributing anything.