The birth of Gnosall Ladies Running Club
Around two years ago, in April 2014, a few of us mums living in Gnosall decided to start doing a bit of running with the aim of improving our fitness and losing some of the excess ‘baby weight’ which was still lingering around our bums, tums and thighs. Having no previous running experience we were blessed to have Bob (Emma’s dad, an extremely experienced runner) to help us to build on our distance and grow in confidence. We began to realise that we were actually enjoying this running lark!
Much to our amazement, it became a regular occurrence to meet up with Bob at 6.30am on a Saturday morning for our weekly long run, venturing out into the beautiful Staffordshire countryside and discovering routes, footpaths and trails that we had no idea were on our doorstep. As a bit of a joke we gave ourselves a name, ‘Gnosall Ladies Running Club’, coached by our motivator ‘Bootcamp Bob’! In our first year, we were absolutely thrilled with our progress and the highlight of our year was completing the Gnosall Carnival 10k. We never thought we’d be able to run that kind of distance so you can imagine our delight when last year some of us (including the inaugural Gnosall Ladies) completed our first Half Marathon in Birmingham!
Running is for everyone!
Today we are a group of around 50 ladies of all shapes, ages and sizes and abilities running a range of distances and speeds. We have runners who are building towards their first 5k or 10k and others who have completed half marathons in 1:45 or less (aka “the whippets” as we jokingly call our more speedy runners!).
The main point here is that we are most definitely NOT a group of fitness fanatics or ‘gym bunnies’, although it cannot be denied that some of the Gnosall Ladies clearly are now super-fit thanks to all this running! We welcome absolutely anyone who is interested in trying a bit of running and would like some company, encouragement and good fun in the process (anything to take our minds off the pain, you’ll be amazed at the random topics of conversation we find whilst out in the countryside!).
We are not an affiliated running club and we do not have professional coaches. We prefer to keep it informal, with our main aim being to make ladies of any age and ability, whether beginner or experienced, feel welcome to join and start running with us. We only ask for £5 as an annual membership fee which is basically to cover the cost of the website. Any remaining funds at the end of the year go towards our renowned “pie nights”!
We always meet opposite The Oak pub in Gnosall, by the entrance to the ‘track’ (the former train track which is now Cycle Route 55 which runs to Stafford (east) and Newport (west) and further).
We typically meet on Wednesday and Sunday evenings at 7.30pm although this can vary, people usually mention on the Facebook page if they are going for a run and what distance they would like to run so other people can join in.
Saturday 6.30am Bootcamp with “Bootcamp Bob”: we religiously meet for ‘bootcamp’ on Saturday mornings with Bob for an off-road run of varying distances depending on what people fancy. Bootcamp is typically around 8-10k although it can be altered/mixed up if someone would prefer a shorter run.
Gnosall Ladies run on different days according to their availability and childcare etc. We can be completely flexible and vary runs so people can ‘drop off’ if they want to do a shorter distance.
Come along and give it a try!
Gnosall Ladies’ Pie nights and socials!
We are a sociable bunch and in addition to the running we are rather partial to The Boat’s home-made pie and a drink or two at The Oak (along with any other establishments serving alcohol in Gnosall)! We try to have regular ‘pie-nights’, which are basically an excuse to eat pie and have a drink or two (or three or more!). As much as we love the running we don’t take ourselves too seriously and we also love to have a bit of fun! J