Could this be the last ‘race at the base’ for 20-year-old running club?
- Credit: Archant
A popular running club, with roots dating back more than 20 years, saw a bumper turnout at what has been described as its last 'race at the base'.
Coltishall Jaguars Running Club, which has been based at former RAF Coltishall since 2016, held its annual Jolly Jags 10k on Sunday, September 22.
More than 800 runners turned out to take part but despite glorious weather, the day was laced with an overhanging black cloud.
Norfolk County Council's Hethel Innovation Ltd, who manage what is now Scottow Enterprise Park, served the Jaguars with an eviction notice at the start of August, a spokesperson for the club explained.
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They said: "It was a reaction to a handful of complaints made after the club's Scottow Sundowner 5K. It was an immediate notice to quit and included cancellation of the last race of the season - the Jolly Jaguars 10k."
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The race is a sellout event and included several wheelchair athletes and 150 children registered for the junior race. It is also part of the Sportlink Grand Prix series, which takes place around the county.
"After some subsequent discussion at Norfolk County Council, and between the Jaguars' committee and Hethel Innovation, it was agreed that the Jolly Jags race could go ahead - but it would be the last race at the base," the spokesperson added.
Hethel Innovation Ltd said previously that the club was not being evicted and that negotiations were underway about its future at the base. And while the club has confirmed that talks are ongoing, it said that it would need to find funds to cover a 400pc rent increase.
The club is financially dependent on revenue from races.
In 1998, runner and cyclist Michael Groves died after he was involved in a traffic collision. The following year, his father Alan organised a memorial charity race - the Mike Groves Run.
The race became an annual event and eventually gave the impetus and inspiration for Alan and his other son, Paul, to launch Coltishall Jaguars Running Club in 2004.
Today, the club also runs an over-subscribed junior club which currently has a waiting list.
The lease at the base is due to end on October 8.