Great Western Runners was born out of a group of fit, and less fit, running enthusiasts who frequented (rather frequently!) The Myrtle Tree in Hotwells.
The club was founded in July 1984 and affiliated to the Amateur Athletics Association (now UK Athletics) a month later. Based at Kingsdown Sports Centre for 15 years, it grew rapidly in membership.
Over the years the runners participated in three cross-country leagues, several road races and relays. The club also organised races and soon gained a valuable reputation for excellent organisation and worthy races.
Great Western Runners’ Club night base moved to the Bristol Lawn Tennis & Squash Club in Redland in April 1999. The Club feels that this change has been positive and appreciate the welcome they have received. They have continued to attract newcomers to the Club, many of whom appreciate the fact that they can do their leisure running with them without necessarily having to join a formally affiliated club.
The club nights on Wednesday, from 6.30 p.m. with group runs at various paces, and over various distances from four miles upwards, are always attended by squads of over 50 runners; sometimes as many as 70 participate! While running is often seen as a solitary activity, Great Western Runners show that it is also a group activity.
Got any stories or pictures about the history of the club? Why not mail them for publication on this site.
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