Worthy Runners is hoping to enter about seven teams into the Clarendon Marathon Relay this October. Why so many? Because it is such a great, enjoyable event and is even more fun when you know other runners, especially if they are running the same leg or in the same team. It is a truly unique event, with loads of cheery volunteers and some spectacular scenery, albeit with a few hills too. We even extend the day's fun and have a post-Clarendon party that evening with families: about 70 people are expected this year.
Worthy Runners was started in the summer of 2014 by just three of us: Malcolm Prince, Catherine Saunders and Richard Spalding. The club is based in Kings Worthy with members living mainly in or near the five Worthys: Abbots Worthy, Martyr Worthy, Headbourne Worthy and Worthy Down. We formed the club because we realised quite a few of us did the Winchester parkrun most Saturdays but wanted to do more running with other people on other days. We also wanted it to be a sociable group, and free. As well as the parkrun, we run regularly on Monday evenings and Thursday mornings, and also at other impromptu times.
We currently have about 150 registered members, and our main communication medium is a ‘closed’ Facebook group, along with a website.
We entered our first Clarendon Relay in 2014, with just one team. We increased our team numbers to three in 2015 and then entered five teams in 2016. One of the success stories of the club is that quite a few of our members, who were new to running initially, have progressed from parkruns to longer social runs to the Clarendon Relay; and now on to the Clarendon Half or Full (there will be about ten club members running these distances in October). That said, many of those who can now cope with the longer runs actually prefer the Relay due to the fun, camaraderie and team spirit.
With seven teams running together, there will inevitably be a bit of friendly rivalry. We normally put the teams together based on which leg people want to run and the complex logistics of getting the right runners to the right start point at the right time. Last year, three of our teams were very close in speed by coincidence, making it even more interesting. However, maybe this year, it is time to create one or two faster teams. We'll see. But whatever we do, we are all looking forward to a brilliant day.
And finally, if anyone is interested in entering the Worthys Festival 5km Challenge Run on 23 September, have a look at our website worthyrunners.com for information.