Sunday, 16 February 2014


Having previously trained for all my previous races exclusively as a lone solo runner, I have decided that this time I would mix up my training and start running with people. Real actual people who I could meet, run with and unashamedly get my running geek on with - hopefully without seeing their eyes glaze over at another mention of foam rollers, PBs, IT Bands (the list goes on). I must commend my boyfriend, friends and family here for feigning interest when I witter on about these things. Ithankyou.

Enter the Sweatshop Running Community. The SRC is a chain of running shops that each hold a weekly run from their stores. In Manchester you can choose a 5k or 4 / 5 miles on a Tuesday night, as well as a longer run of about 10 miles on a Sunday morning. Oh, and did I mention its FREE?! That's right, not a penny needed to join or join in. Its great.

Arriving at the store on a Tuesday night is crazy, there is a great buzz in there with people chatting, new members going through what to expect and lots of chitter chatter. You get your stamp to show your attendance, sign up for your distance of choice and then wait for Rick the shop manager to outline the route you'll be taking that night. They also provide incentives for your 5th, 25th, 30th and 50th run within one calendar year with awards being handed out pre run. Last week I became a fully fledged member of the yellow army after my 5th run with the SRC. Hello yellow jersey.

There are always back markers to make sure no one is left behind so you don't need to worry about being the slowest, or keeping up with the big boys at the front, and there is always someone running at your pace. They are also quite a sociable bunch and head out for dinner and drinks together. But most of all its just fun. There are often about 125 people all together, so setting off in a big herd feels like quite the occasion. And its nice to just turn up and go, without having to worry about running anywhere dodgy by yourself, or planning yet another 5m route. And I find running with people just feels different - you often find yourself pushing much further than you would going out on your on, plodding your old well trodden path.

So if you're thinking about starting running or just want a buddy to get you out the door on a wet and windy evening post work, look into your nearest Sweatshop. You will enjoy.

And yellow is so your colour...

Manchester Arndale SRC


  1. That sounds like a lot of fun! I'm still a lone runner myself, haven't quite worked up to running with others! Mostly because I feel I'm still really slow and would just hold people back :P Well done on getting your yellow jersey :D

    1. Thanks! And you wouldn't hold people back - I think you'd surprise yourself! The emphasis is very much of running together :)