If you are not yet a runner, or in your early stages, the RHAC Beginners Group offers accompanied sessions on Mondays and Wednesday from Herringthorpe Stadium at 6.30pm start. Efforts of as little as 1 mile up to round 6 miles or so are arranged depending on participants' need. Lead members are Jenny Horan, Pat Beighton, and Wendy Whitake. At the same time, a group departs for a run which may be faster, further, or with fewer stops (see 'Improvers below).
If you are getting the bug to improve your running and bring down your race times, you could do well here. I usually lead the group (Peter Humphries) though they now frequently lead me! Others such as Neil Shaw, Kerry Booth, and Henry Marston sometimes share the job. Sometimes called 'Faster Group' but don't forget, there are faster than this! Our times are 6.30pm start on Mondays and Wednesdays from the stadium. We operate very similarly to the beginners' group- running sometimes quite strongly but regrouping every mile or two, with runs of 5 to 9 miles being typical. We spend a good deal of time enjoying aspects of the environment (!) but we do put in a fair amount of hill work. Off-road in the BST period to a large extent, but shortly in GMT road work only. This is often classic 'fartlek' training.
The more people you know, the more options you will encounter for small-group outings at other times, eg Fridays 6.30 for 6 miles with Neil- these sometimes arranged of the cuff.
Club organised training (ie in-stadium, or nearby hill) is aimed at structured improvement based on track running sessions or repetitive hill work. In the first instance, interested parties should approach Jim Brogan for introduction. Jim might well invite newcomers to run once or twice with my group prior to placing them in the training ranks, but he will assess your needs as soon as practicable.
Switching between groups- beginning/running/training- can be problematic. Suffice it to say that some folks take it gradually: train Monday, run with me Wednesday, or vice versa, or switch in and out of the beginners/improvers groups. Nothing wrong with that.
Small groups containing the most outstanding athletes at RHAC are trained on a more personal level by a number of gifted and dedicated coaches. In terms of running, Pete Shaw, Nigel Brookes and Dennis Russell are three that come to mind. They would welcome additions who can bring ability combined with a complete commitment to their work. Anyone who is contemplating joining at that level should speak with Jim first.
Let me say straight away that we recognise that not everyone enjoys competition- and we wouldn't try to force it on you. The value of getting yourself fit- to enjoy your environment, enjoy your food- your whole life in fact may be en end in itself. Fair enough. However, RHAC is a competitive club. A very competitive club in the eyes of our opponents! We would like ALL our members to compete at some level- both on their own behalf against members of this and other clubs, and as club members against other clubs. The suggestions which follow should show you that there are opportunities to do that no matter how good or modest a runner you are.
As a simple matter of pride, you should wear your club vest whenever you compete in public. (If you haven't got one, it's £12 from Steve Gaines) And, believe it or not, just as you are impressed or proud of winners and front runners (like our ladies winning the northern relays), they will be supportive of you if you have the vest on.
We are in the winter months of 2013-14, and club nights mean running in the dark. We meet for a 6.30pm off at Herringthorpe Stadium and usually choose one of three or four options where the light is good and footpaths are available.
We run 5 minimum to around 8 or 9 miles maximum, usually 7. Speeds vary and are adjusted to the needs of those present. We cannot cope with beginners normally, but improvers are always welcome, and we typically regroup together every 1 or 2 miles, depending on terrain.
Our objective is always top enjoy the various aspects of running, but one feature of course is that we want to improve. That means that we do take on hilly routes sometimes.
Enjoying the environment is not so easy in the dark, often cold, winter months, so we do look forward to March 30th when the clocks have changed and we can include someoff-road running.
The photos above were taken on Emma's farewell run with us a year or two back when her job took her back into the Midlands. They show our preference for getting away from the traffic, off-road into the countryside.