Members of the Newmarket Joggers are to offer a helping hand to those wanting to take up running in the new year by staging a beginners’ course.
Officials at the Suffolk club have decided to run the programme for a second successive year after their inaugural course, held back in January, proved a hit.
Starting on Monday, January 12, the course will run for 10 weeks, culminating in participants completing a five-kilometre course.
The group will be led by Alex Cairns and Greg Davis and supported by around half a dozen volunteers from the club.
“The feedback we had from other clubs in the lead up to the inaugural group this year was that we would have enormous fall-out rates over the first few weeks, but that was far from the case,” explained Davis. “We had around 35 sign up and most weeks thereafter we would get numbers in the high 20s turn up, which we thought was remarkable for our first dip in the water at doing it.
“It may be tough to get 30-plus on board again, so anything close will be good.
“Even if we only get a dozen sign up, we will still go ahead with it.”
While the main objective of the course is to introduce people to running and improving their fitness levels, it is also aimed at removing the perception that only runners of a certain ability can become involved.
“People can find joining a club quite intimidating and they feel that members may be too advanced for them and this group is about getting people to take that first step and giving them a kick start,” said Davis. “It is open to all age groups above 18 and all shapes and sizes.
“It caters for all abilities so no-one will get left behind.
“This is all about people beating personal goals, improving fitness levels and getting to enjoy themselves at the same time.”
Like this year’s course, the Joggers will be assisted in running the programme by former Olympic athlete Paul Evans from Run England.
Evans appeared in the 10,000-metre track finals at the 1992 Barcelona and 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, while he finished second in the 1996 Great North Run and third in the 1996 London Marathon.
“Paul will be coming along to coach a session midway through the programme and give out certificates at the end of it,” said Davis. “It is great to have someone like Paul, who has performed on the biggest stages, come to coach a session as it is good motivation.”
The course, which will meet each week at 6.30pm at Newmarket Leisure Centre, in Exning Road, costs £40.
It includes a technical T-shirt and a one year membership to the club.
Forms can be downloaded by visiting www.newmarket joggers.co.uk