England Athletics launches RunTogether
10 January 2017
If you want to start running but feel nervous about doing it on your own, RunTogether could be the answer.
A new national programme set up by England Athletics, RunTogether aims to motivate thousands of new people to join their local running group. All aspects of the RunTogether programme, whether our RunTogether 'Groups' or services, such as 'Find a Guide' share a common theme, they have been created to help people to run with others. That’s because we believe running with others provides motivation, guidance and support, as well as making it more fun.
By simply logging on to the website, you'll have access to local running groups which offer fun, organised jogs and runs with other people, led by qualified group leaders. The website also includes access to marked running routes specific to your area, searchable using your postcode.
Matt Birkett, Head of Running Participation at England Athletics, said: "We know that many people already benefit from the support, guidance and camaraderie that running with other people brings. We want to grow the number of people who experience this enjoyment by providing access to friendly and welcoming group runs to more people throughout England.
"There are already many thousands of inspiring volunteers leading running groups in communities across the country. Many are part of the 1,250 athletics and running clubs who make many of these opportunities possible. There are already over 700 run groups now live on the RunTogether website, with new requests coming in on a daily basis. These groups have created over 10,000 organised runs that people of all abilities can book onto.
"It is our aim to get one million more people into regular athletics and running by 2021."
Trying to start running can be a daunting task, as Sam Mollaghan - the face of the This Girl Can Run campaign, and a qualified Run Leader - understands. "When I started running a couple of years ago, I was very self-conscious about how others would perceive me," she said. "So I empathise with how many runners feel anxious when running alone.
"Now I'm a Run Leader, I'm able to help others enjoy the benefits that regular running in a group has to offer - it's such a great way to improve fitness and socialise at the same time. I'm also more confident when I run, as I know I'm doing something that benefits my health and mindset. I've made some great friends in running groups and would encourage as many people as possible to join their local group."
Runners are also being encouraged to take photos and tag which friends and celebrities they would like to run with, using #RunTogether.