I wanted to join a local running club to keep fit and lose a bit of weight. After searching the internet for running clubs, I found the Quantock Harriers. It took a further 6 months before I finally took the plunge. I carried out a few runs beforehand in preparation but there was really no need, the ‘level 1 coaches’ run with the beginners and help you along. I found the club members to be a friendly and supportive lot. The club runners all go for differing reasons; from the social and keep fit runners to those looking to run at local 10k and half marathons to the more serious runners looking to run marathons and ultra marathons.
Since joining the club in 2012 I ran over 20 races in my first year and won the ‘Athlete of the Year’ award in the annual club awards, not bad considering that I’m 43 and not that good at running! The sense of achievement and also knowing that your health will be improved outweighs the aches. For only £30 (£16 a year thereafter) you can join, you get a free club vest, insurance and membership of UK Athletics that allows you to enter races at a discount.
What are you waiting for? Email us for more details or just pop along for a run. The first step to get out there is always the hardest but the benefits to your health and fitness are there for the taking. See you soon, Jason 😉 – updated 22/04/2014
My story starts in 2008 after both my parents passed away suddenly, at 16 stone and suffering with chronic renal disease i decided to get fit and joined the local gym. Soon after I started running and was hooked. Initially I took part in local races then made the huge jump and took part in the Vegas marathon, unfortunately my kidney problems meant I was open to picking up bugs etc and the day before the event I came down with sickness and struggled around in 4hrs 45.
Afterwards I decided to join the Harriers and quickly realised what a great and friendly bunch everyone was, members caught on to my problems and couldn’t have been more supportive. I was always helped when I was struggling by one or more. My condition was deteriorating as time went on but I was determined to push on and new eventually I would need a transplant, I eventually got into triathlons and again got through training and events with the help and support of the whole club.
In 2011 the inevitable happened and had a transplant, my younger brother Colin amazingly donated a kidney and saved my life. The build up to the op was quite unbearable and decided to take my mind of it I entered the Burnham on sea triathlon the day before I was due my transplant. Easily the hardest I’ve ever pushed myself but got through unscathed.
During the long weeks recovering I decide my goal was to take part in the National Transplant Games and hope to be selected for the international games in Durban South Africa. Job done I was proud to win 2 bronze medals and came 4th in the cycling, and was selected for the GB team. I decided however not to go as the distances didn’t suit me. My other goal was to get into long distance swimming and have taken part in 10 & 14k open water swims. All this was just 12 months after the transplant .
Last year I took part in a half iron man triathlon with 6 other Harriers, it was an amazing experience.
This year I have entered a off road marathon and I’m sure I’ll get all the encouragement I need from club members.
The moral of my story is to stay positive and never give up trying whatever standard you are at. The ‘Quantock Harriers’ rock! – updated 08/05/2014
I’m Lindsey, and I have been running with the Beginners and Returners Group since January 2014. My husband Neil is a regular Harrier, and he has progressed to marathon level. So I thought I would give it a go myself! On my first run, I could barely run a minute, but now am able to run 5k in one go. I (slowly) completed Hestercombe Hurtle and Bridgwater 10k, and am very proud of my medals. I also regularly attend Park Run at Longrun Meadow in Taunton. The buzz of acheiving a PB is addictive!
I was always a bit worried about joining a club, as I thought they would be a bunch of elites who would sneer at my slow time. But I could not have been more wrong. I have had so much support, and also invaluable advise from those who have been in the same position. I have also made a great bunch of friends as well.
If you are not still not sure, come along and see for yourself! You’ll soon get the bug!! – updated 09/05/2014
In March 2005 I wagered £100 with my that son that I would not run the Burnham ½ marathon. Two days later I put on a pair of trainers and began my first training run. After less than a mile I had to stop, my chest was burning and I was gasping for breath. As I walked home I can remember thinking how on earth am I going to run for 13.1 miles. I later completed the race and in a time of 1:33:45 and raised £560 including the bet for the Musgrove Leukaemic Group.
I did not run again until 2007 and later I decided to enter the London Marathon. I did not get in on the ballot but managed to get a charity place running for Arthritis Research. I trained really hard in preparation as I had heard the phrase “good for age” and this was my target. As it turned out I slipped on a wet manhole cover at about 11 miles tearing a muscle in my calf, I managed to keep going to 21 miles but had to walk the rest in agony, eventually crossing the line in 3:53:54 and raising £3,100 for the cause.
The following year I won a place in the ballot and It was at this point that I first thought about joining the Quantock Harriers but put it off for ages as I imagined that a running club would be all young super fit athletes and not a place for a 52 year old, how wrong could I be? The tips and info I gained from the experienced runners helped me to a good for age time of 3:13:20 in 2009 and I have become hooked on tarmac and made some great friends at the club. This year at the age of 59 I achieved a London Marathon PB in a time of 3:12:35. – updated 09/05/2014
Adnan Haq 24
Ive been running competitively for over 4 years, with my focus being middle distance on the track. I joined the Quantock Harriers in March 2014. I needed affiliation to a local club now that I am staying in Bridgwater (my home town) on a long term basis. Not only is affiliation necessary for entry into some events, I felt that after years of training, I ought to represent a club, rather than just running for myself. The club is friendly, with a strong social aspect and sense of togetherness.
So far I have represented the club in two road races – the Street 5k in March and Bridgwater 10k in April, with several track races lined up with the athletics season approaching.
For several years my initial aim was to establish a place on the UK rankings at my primary event – 800 metres. Despite a frustrating wait (largely due to several injuries), my resilience was rewarded last year as I became nationally ranked at track for the first time with an 800m clocking of 2:03. This year I will be looking to climb up the national rankings as far as I can – but Im not going to hold my breath about breaking the 2 minute barrier (no pun intended!). – updated 09/05/2014