England Athletics CEO Chris Jones, and Club Support Manager Amy Frith visited award-winning Redway Runners in Milton Keynes at one of their Sunday morning Club Runs.
From humble beginnings back in 2010 when the club was founded, Redway Runners is now one of the largest running clubs in the country with over 2500 paid members this year. Based in Milton Keynes, the club has enviable running routes thanks to the 270km of safe running paths known as the Milton Keynes Redways. But it’s not just the favourable infrastructure of the town which has afforded the club with so much success - the club have developed a winning culture based on several key values which remain central to the club activities.
The club hosts numerous Club Runs throughout the week (some starting as early as 5am!) as well as various other programmes to support members of all abilities. Some of their most popular programmes include; ‘Need for Speed’ for improving 5km times, ‘Zero to Hero’ to support runners achieve their dream of completing a marathon through a structured marathon training programme and mentor system; and ‘Moving on Up’ which supports runners to move up to the next distance milestone such as 10k to Half Marathon. It is this innovation and variation which seems to appeal to so many of the club's members.
The club is hard to miss at local races, sometimes with several hundred members taking part in the parkruns across Milton Keynes, all proudly wearing their vivid green Redway Runners tops with their names on. In fact, members are quick to highlight just how important their club kit is in feeling a sense of belonging and attachment to the club and how it helps members to socialise with fellow Redway Runners. The club also hosts several popular events including the ‘Furzton Relay’, ‘Beat the Barge’, Club Trips to races abroad and their very own ‘Redway Runners Running Expo’.
Chris Jones commented, "It was pretty clear from our arrival that there is something special about this club. With 2500 members and a leadership with infectious enthusiasm and an innovative approach, it was evident that the club offers something for all aspirations and abilities. I was particularly intrigued by the forthcoming Drama Run which sounds like a blast with likely full wedding and period costume regalia on show! It just shows how important the social aspect of club running is - and Redway embrace this fully."
Chair of Redway Runners, Martin Lawrence (pictured above talking to Chris) said, "Redway Runners were really pleased to welcome Chris along to the club's Sunday run and meet our 120 runners who came along for the two runs that happened that morning. We were pleased to tell him over coffee and cake about some of the work that the club volunteers do, from leading over 100 beginners’ groups to our recent new 4-hour race and our upcoming drama run.
Below you can watch a short video made by Redway Runners about their club.
Photos: Chris Jones talks to Chair Martin Lawrence, and Coach in Running Fitness Annette Smyth