RUNNING club Redditch STARS continues to go from strength to strength and more people are being encouraged to join the fun.
The club’s roots go back to January 2015 when coach Mark Churchill launched what was then called the STARS group with the Redditch Borough Council-backed Couch to 5K course, primarily aimed at people who were new to running and looking to improve their general fitness.
The course at the Abbey Stadium attracted 260 people from the outset and, as it grew in popularity, Mark found himself sending runners to more established athletics clubs.
“Halfway through that initial course I was sending people on to join other groups and I thought, hang on a minute, I should really start to establish my own club here and at the end of that course Redditch STARS was born,” said Mark.
“We have people of all ages and running ability and that’s the beauty of the group really. It is a friendly and sociable club and that is a large factor in why we have been so successful.”
The club, based at the Abbey Stadium, received a major boost recently when it became affiliated to England Athletics and the hard work being put in by members is clearly paying dividends as many of the athletes have reached a high standard of running.
“We have just had two club members complete the Manchester Marathon, including one who was on the first Couch to 5K course, and there and three more Couch to 5K runners who will be doing the London Marathon later this month,” said Mark.
“We are attracting quicker runners with a lot more regularity now but continue to cater for those who may only want to or be capable of running the shorter distances.
“People can do as much or as little with the club as they want, including coaching sessions to improve your running.”
Redditch STARS, which has a further three leaders in running fitness who take some of the sessions, runs groups on Sunday mornings and Tuesday and Thursday evenings and there is a 5-10km progression course held on Sundays too.
Mark added: “Our Thursday group offers canal and trail running as well, which is something a bit different, and people normally stop and have a pint or whatever it may be afterwards, so the social element is great.”
For more information about Redditch STARS visit www.redditchstars.co.uk or www.facebook.com/groups/RedditchSTARS.