Bruges runners help turn Sevenoaks High Street pink

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In 2014 Bart Eelbode, the only male member and coach of the Ladies' Running Centre in Bruges, decided to look for an English running group to “twin” with.  He searched an area close enough to the Channel Tunnel to facilitate easy travel, and found Sevenoaks Ladies' Joggers (SLJ) who had just won the Run England “Running Group of the Year” award 2014.  That seemed good enough for him.

After much hard work on the part of the Bruges running group, 20 SLJ members enjoyed a fantastic visit to Bruges last September – with the bar set very high for a return visit.  Anticipation must have been very high as double the number of ladies have decided to return!

SLJ were excited to share their “3 Peaks Challenge Run” with the visitors and the local "Oaks Blokes" on 1st October.  The Belgians found their run ending in a sea of pink flooding down Sevenoaks High Street as their visit coincided with the start of Breast Cancer Care’s Pink Week.

Undeterred by torrential rain, the ladies gathered after their run at The Vine restaurant with coffee and cakes kindly donated by local volunteers and a warm welcome from Sevenoaks Mayor, Councillor Andrew Eyre.  Lunch at St Nicholas’ Church with special guest, Councillor Peter Fleming, an historical walking tour of the town, and some relaxation in the Pink Party concluded their Saturday.

The weather behaved beautifully for a brisk walk through Knole Park on Sunday morning to a typical British barbeque lunch.

This trip could not have been organised without the help of recently awarded OBE Joan Mills who has worked tirelessly to make our running friends welcome.

Sam Palmer, founder of SLJ said, "During the last 15 years, SLJ has welcomed over 1000 women to recreational running and we are thrilled to share our passion for our sport and our love of the Sevenoaks countryside with ladies from over the Channel in Bruges.  This run is the most emotional event of SLJ’s annual calendar, made more special by the fantastic support of shopkeepers and shoppers as they cheer us on every year."

SLJ and Bruges runners

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