Initially formed in 1983, as Burnden Lifeline, before affiliating to the AAA under the name of Burnden Road Runners in 1985, the club was born of a happy amalgamation of Bolton Wanderers supporters training for the Bolton Marathon (which was the biggest marathon in the UK at that time), a nucleus of runners from the now defunct Kearsley Harriers and other local runners bitten by the 80s marathon boom. The club was based for many years at the Wanderers’ old ground Burnden Park and hence the name Burnden Road Runners.
From its inception, the club was always a broad church and the “Northern Runner” magazine described the fledgling club as having “approximately 80 members of wide age range, both men and women of standards varying from 2 ½ hour intrepid marathon men to gentle joggers”.
Apart from the increase in number of members since those days, that description has remained true throughout the past thirty odd years.
There are a number of founder members who still run with the club to this day including one of the “intrepid 2 ½ hour marathon men” and there are a significant number of current members who joined in the 1980s and have been members ever since. That in itself tells you a lot about Burnden Road Runners.
For those who are interested, a more detailed history and club records can be found on the website.
Training – the club meets at 7pm every Monday (except Bank Holidays) at Smithills Sports Centre. A choice of training will usually be on offer incorporating a structured session of speedwork / interval training or a selection of group runs in various pace groups and different distances. In the winter months this will be on the road but there is the option to run off-road on the nearby West Pennine Moors Moors when the lighter nights allow. Details are usually posted on the club website in advance, but firm arrangements are confirmed on the night at Smithills. Changing facilities, lockers and showers are available and all runners must contribute £1 subs on the night to help cover Sports Centre costs.
There is also a track session on Wednesdays which takes place at Leverhulme Park starting at 7pm. All members are welcome and (the cost of attending the session is £1. The club pay for the track/lighting in 10 week blocks)
Throughout the year, the club arranges New Starter groups to help introduce those new to the sport to the joys of club running.
3)CLUB RACES AND COMPETITIONS
Burnden are involved in a number of inter-club competitions where we compete both individually and also as a team against other clubs. In addition, the club organises a number of intra-club championships where Burnden members compete against each other.
Inter-club competition includes participation in the Central Lancashire Grand Prix, the Northern 6 & 12 stage relays, the Red Rose cross-country league, the South East Lancs cross-country league, the North West Sunday cross-country league and various Veterans / Masters Relays and races.
Information about all the above is available on the corresponding websites and will be discussed regularly at the monthly club meetings. The important thing to remember is that all members are eligible, welcome and encouraged to run in all these competitions if they would like to do so.
Within the club, annual competitions include the Men’s and Women’s Club Championship and the Fell Running Championship. Open to all members, these championships involve a programme of designated races throughout the year where points awarded for individual performances against other club members result in an overall Club Champion. The precise format and the selected races within the club championships are chosen by the annually elected race captains.
The winners of the Club Championships, together with a range of other awards and achievements, are recognised at the Club’s annual Presentation Evening – usually in January.
In addition to all of the above, Burnden organise their own race, The Trotters 5 which takes place each year on the first Sunday in March.
4) CLUB MANAGEMENT and DEMOCRACY
Burnden is slightly unusual in that there is no committee to govern the club’s policies and activities. Instead, the club holds monthly meetings on the first Monday of every month (the second Monday when there is a Bank Holiday) where any decisions can be made on the principle of ‘one member one vote’. All members are welcome to attend and all members therefore have a direct say in the running of the club.
There is also an Annual General Meeting and, if necessary, provisions for an EGM. Members are encouraged to have a look at the club Constitution for further details.
The club appoints a number of Officers who are responsible for specific roles within the club. This includes Chair, Treasurer, Race Captains, Membership Secretary and a range of other roles as required.
In order to retain the club’s democratic and inclusive base, the term of office for all these positions is 12 months. Although officers can stand for a second term, the position of every Club Officer is open for nomination and election every year at the AGM which takes place on the first Monday in December. The process for nominations will be announced in advance at the monthly meetings and full details are explained in the Constitution.
Although this may seem a little laborious, it is an important principle to ensure that the club remains truly democratic and representative of all its members.
5) Club Standards
Like most running clubs, Burnden is a nice friendly inclusive club and it is important to stay that way. All members are expected to be respectful and supportive towards their fellow members and also extend this standard of behaviour towards members of other clubs and across the wider running community.
In the unlikely event of any member behaving otherwise, they may be asked to explain their behaviour and a disciplinary process is framed in the Constitution for this purpose.
In a nutshell, the club’s code of conduct is to be nice to each other, be positive and play fair. Treat other runners and officials with the same level of respect you would expect to be shown to you. This applies in person at training, races or in meetings and increasingly now on social media. Members are expected to do nothing that will bring the club into disrepute.
At club training it is expected that members will wear clothing appropriate to the conditions. This includes high visibility clothing when it is dark. Members will be asked to wear a high visibility vest by the run lead if they arrive for training ill- equipped. If you decide to leave a training run before the finish you must inform the run lead.
If you have an accident/ injury at training or even running on your own you should inform the club so appropriate help can be arranged and an incident form for English Athletics completed
This handbook is designed to explain and clarify most of the club’s activities and policies but, if there is anything that any member wishes to know more about or would like to improve, they are encouraged to ask any of the club officers or to raise the topic for discussion at the monthly meeting (via the Chair if you don’t wish to speak up in person).