About Club

OUR HISTORY

 

SPOTLIGHT ON BURNDEN ROADRUNNERS by Sue Booth

With a growing membership of 170+, this is still the friendly club, that welcomes runners of all abilities.

A little club history

The clue lies in the name…

        

In 1983, Vince Regan, a former international runner approached John McGovern (manager of Bolton Wanderers) to run in Bolton’s own Adidas British Marathon. John rose to the challenge and invited others to join him. Many responded and completed the marathon as members of the Wanderers Lifeline Team. Following the event a small nucleus decided that the group should continue to run and raise money for local charities, thus the Lifeline Running Group began. In 1985, the group became a fully-fledged athletics club whose name was a nod to the then home of Bolton Wanderers, Burnden Park; the ‘roadrunners’ part being inspired by one of its early members renowned for his participation in events dressed as the original roadrunner with feathered tail flowing and klaxon blaring.

Claim to fame?

In 1988, 16 runners completed the ‘Pebble Relay’….a non-stop relay run from John O’Groats to Land’s End, when they chopped 16 hours off their scheduled 5 day slog. The pebble collected from John O’Groats beach at 6am on 5th June was hurled into the sea at Land’s End… 4 days, eight hours and 30 minutes later. Although many clubs had completed this feat, especially during the 1960’s, it is believed that Burnden were the first club from the area to attempt it.  More recently, members Andy Staveley and Mel Walker have featured on the pages of national running magazines; and members have completed the Ironman UK race in Bolton.

How many members?

We have 170+ members, with a more dramatic increase in membership in the last 4 years. We have a Facebook page, website, Burnden forum and regularly appear in the athletics section of the local paper. Our VET membership is particularly large and strong, but we also have athletes under 40, or ‘infants’ as we term them!

We train

On Mondays we meet at Smithills Sports Centre, Bolton. There are usually about 3 different sessions on offer, varying from new starters/beginners/lighter effort, who meet at 6pm; with longer/more challenging sessions on offer at 7pm. In summer, we offer off-road options on the trails/moors above Bolton. On Thursdays at Smithills, an indoor circuit training session runs 7.30-8.30pm. The Monday and Thursdays sessions are led by qualified coaches.

We compete

Members compete in road, fell and cross country leagues….Central Lancs. Grand Prix, National Relay Championships, British and UK Fell championship and South East Lancs /Red Rose Cross Country respectively; and regularly win championship, team and VET categories. Also other races, e.g. Man vs. Horse.

Favourite run

Has to be the ‘Mast’ or its kid brother…’the half-mast’…the ‘Mast’ is a 7 mile summer loop that takes us up onto the moors above Bolton, taking in the Winter Hill TV mast and sometimes Two Lads, before returning to base via Barrow Bridge and Moss Bank Park. The ‘half-mast’ shortens the loop, and is used when the light is reduced.

Social side

We don’t forget to have fun and have a dedicated social secretary in Julie Newton, who has arranged all kinds of events from Halloween and Christmas events through to the more unusual… scavenger hunts and bowling nights.

Club stalwarts

Paul Christie, Neil Nuttall, Simon Marland all have a 20 years+ association with the club in many different capacities as Club Officers and runners.

Our Club Run - Trotters 5

Currently our annual 5 mile trail race and part of the Central Lancs. Grand Prix, which starts off Smithills Dean Rd, Bolton and winds its way through Smithills Country Park. It is growing in popularity and now attracts 350 runners. In the past we used Horrock’s Fold Trails for our ‘Smithills Serpent’ race, which local runners jokily referred to as the only flat run they had ever done that was located on the side of a hill !!

 

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NORTHERN RUNNER APRIL 1989

 

 

 

 

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Download An A-Z Of Burnden Roadrunners by Ken Beevers (excerpt from The Trotter issue #11 October 2009).