If you’ve had reason to be anywhere near the council offices on Parkside around 6.30pm on a Monday over the last couple of years, you may well have wondered what is going on to attract so many people. In fact, this is the meeting point for one of the most successful beginners running groups in the country.
Sponsored by Run England, organised and led by Rob Beers, and supported by many individuals from Stilton Striders (Ian, Simon, Jon and Jay all deserve a mention) these sessions are free for all, no commitment necessary and provide the warmest of welcomes to everyone regardless of prior running experience.
With a record attendance at the start of January this year (85 brand new runners signed up in one evening), the group has continued to go from strength to strength. With regular 10 week ‘Couch to 5k’ coached courses (the next one starts in January), and a friendly group of like minded runners to keep everyone motivated all year round, this has proved a winning formula. Many of the runners have gone on to compete in races over roads and trails, and covering all distances from 5k up to the marathon, and ever a 50k ultra marathon!
Rob himself can usually be found dishing out encouragement, advice and gently cajoling people to help reach their goals – even running with people in their debut races to help them along. It was therefore no surprise to many to hear that he was nominated as “Run England Group Leader of the Year” at the recent England Athletics regional awards for the East Midlands. Whilst unable to attend the awards ceremony where he was named the winner, he couldn’t get away that easily as everyone knew where he would be on a Monday evening… The trophy was duly awarded to him this Monday by Dave Lodwick (EA Regional Council member) and Kim Angell (Leicestershire Beginner Running Activator) in front of his usual group of runners! Congratulations, Rob.
For more details on the Monday evening runs, or support in beginning running, please check Facebook.com/MeltonRunningClub, or via www.stiltonstriders.co.uk