The birth and impressive rise of the Rushmere Community Runners

Rushmere Community Runners is a fast-growing running group. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Rushmere Community Runners is a fast-growing running group. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

Rushmere Community Runners has gone from strength to strength, since it was created last year.

The group was created in 2017, after the closure of the SweatShop store at the Ipswich David Lloyd gym, which meant that their own running group also had to cease.

Rushmere Community Runners then started with the Sweatshop runners arranging their own meets in the Furniture Village car park.

Thist then became more official as the staff from Sweatshop were taken on by Coes of Ipswich to head-up their re-vamped running department.

The venue changed to the Ipswich School Sports Centre in Rushmere, hence the name, and from small beginnings, the group now has over 100 runners meeting up each night.

The group meets on a Tuesday night for a more ‘skills and drills’ based session with a coach.

This can be based solely at ISSC, or out at a fixed location that the group will run to and participate in as a mixed group, at each person’s own pace.

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On a Thursday, runners are split into pace groups, from a walk/run to a 7:30 minute-per-mile pace.

Nominated Run Leaders take those groups out on varying routes, covering whatever distance is possible in the hour or so available.

Rushmere Community Runners have also just started to run a ‘Couch-to-5K’ group on a Tuesday night, where for eight weeks they have a structured programme to help people achieve a goal, which predominantly is at least a parkrun event.

Given the ongoing uptake and success of the current group, it is hopeed to run another session soon.

All the sessions are free, with the runners earning rewards as they continue to get their loyalty cards stamped each week.

There are qualified coaches and Run Leaders helping each week, offering advice to runners on all aspects.

Members are regularly found at both Ipswich and Kesgrave parkruns, proudly running in their purple shirts.

In fact, tomorrow they will be taking on all the volunteer duties at the Kesgrave parkrun, with most of the roles now being filled by their members.

So far, Rushmere Community Runners have been seen at the Great East Run, Coastal 10, Southwold 10K, Snetterton 10K and the Great Bentley Half Marathon, to name a few, as well as flying the flag at the Amsterdam Marathon.

For more details, the group has active social media pages on Facebook and Instagram.