Want to start running? New running community in Norwich

The new running club, the Norwich Sweatshop Running Community (SRC) with Nick Walsh, front. Picture: Denise Bradley The new running club, the Norwich Sweatshop Running Community (SRC) with Nick Walsh, front. Picture: Denise Bradley

Wednesday, June 25, 2014
6:30 AM

A new running club is hoping to get more people in Norwich pounding pavements and to give them the motivation to keep running.

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Case study: diabetic Nick

Type one diabetic Nick Walsh started running earlier this year, as he wanted to improve his health.

After running his first parkrun in January, taking 30 minutes and 46 seconds to complete the 5k, he found he lacked the impetus to do it again until early March.

Shortly after, he started running with the Norwich SRC, and says it helped to motivate him and now he looks forward to each run.

The barman at the Adam and Eve pub completed his latest parkrun on his 25th birthday in a personal best of 23 minutes and five seconds.

Nick, who lives on Riverside, said: “I absolutely love it and it’s not just the running. It’s the benefits for my health, the community - it’s pretty much become my religion.

“I can’t wait for each Thursday to run and I go three or four times a week.

“Running with a group definitely helps. The buzz beforehand gets you motivated and they try to find new routes for us to do so it’s not boring.

“It’s definitely helped me health-wise and I’m controlling my diabetes more now.”

The Norwich Sweatshop Running Community (SRC) is free to join and aims to provide support for runners of all abilities.

Organised by staff from the Sweatshop running store in Westlegate, there are currently two sessions- the intermediates on Mondays at 6pm, and beginners or those who want to get back into running, on Thursdays at 6.45pm.

The first 15 minutes give participants the chance to socialise and meet other runners, and stow their belongings in the shop before setting off on a run.

While the groups take different routes every week, the beginner group generally does a 2.5k course twice, so that people can taking part in a “couch to 5k” prrogramme can run and walk 2.5k and work up to finally running 5k non-stop in about weeks nine to 11.

Store manager Ryan Tapp said the group had gone from four runners in its first week, to around 55 in its 13th week.

He said: “I think the reason we have had such a success and a rapid reponse is that we are community based and not at all elitist.

“It’s almost like a big family. People can go at their own pace and it’s about giving each runner the motivation and enthusiam to come back the next week and go at it again.”

Sweatshop is a sponsor of the popular 5k parkruns, which are free and held at locations across the country at 9am on a Saturday morning.

The SRC aims to help complete beginners get to a stage where they can then move on to take part in a parkrun.

The intermediate runs are currently up to 7k and will soon be introducing interval training for people who would like to increase their pace.

If the groups continue to grow then another group could be added in future to cater for 10k runners.

Routes are mapped out and there are guides and a runner bringing up the rear at the pace set by those who prefer to take their time.

To encourage runners, they get a card stamped each time they attend. After five weeks they get a free bright yellow Adidas technical T-shirt. Then there are free gifts at verious stages, building up to a free pair of running shoes up to the value of £100 after 50 weeks worth of running in one year.

Participants should register online at www.sweatshop.co.uk beforehand and will also be asked to fill out a disclaimer form.

More information about the Norwich group is available at www.facebook.com/sweatshop.norwich

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