Club Elitism

Have/do you ever encounter it?

16 messages
12/10/2012 at 23:52

Obviously, post olympics more than ever and with the rise of events such as parkrun running is being promoted as a way to keep fit for all, however it is clear that standards and opinions on whether one is a 'jogger' or an 'athlete' vary greatly.

I am currently a member of two clubs, however local ones vary widely in their approach despite being proverbially 'for all'. For example, my first claim despite being 'all ability' on the website sends people away when their 5k pb is 24mins saying that they won't really get anywhere in the sport. Another club goes down to 10min/mile pace on runs.

Do you think there is a general minimal standard for joining running clubs, and if so what? (Not just running for at least 30mins or the like, but speed standards). Have you encountered much club elitism or not really? Is your own club elitist/selective and do you like it that way?

13/10/2012 at 03:11
Tricky question. We accept anybody but then we have 30 members with several nearby clubs 4-10 times our size so we can't afford to be snooty. We had a situation where a splinter group of friends all the slower runners started meeting on their own and left a single 12 min miler with the ' official group' of 6-8 min milers and after several months they were politely asked not to come out on long runs because of health and safety the group had to stay together and the faster people stopped coming as often. They still come along to speed workouts though! I think most individuals are usually able to.assess if they are ready to join a club and find out which one suits them. I doubt any club in my locality would turn people away because our cross country league heavily favours larger clubs,
13/10/2012 at 06:30

I'm in two clubs one of which has Andy Badderly as a member and neither appears to be elite minded in any way. Slow runners and non runners are actually vital to us since they are the ones who tend to be the administrators.

13/10/2012 at 08:10
RicF wrote (see)

I'm in two clubs one of which has Andy Badderly as a member and neither appears to be elite minded in any way. Slow runners and non runners are actually vital to us since they are the ones who tend to be the administrators.

So do you say can run under 24 minute 5k or 100wpm!?

13/10/2012 at 08:17

the club I have joined is definitely not elitist - I am a slow runner and have been made to feel very welcome. The club sessions fit everyone - there are some very fast runners, a middle pack and a slower pack, everyone is made to feel welcome and to train at their level. I have got quicker since joining, but am still in the slower group

13/10/2012 at 08:43

The club that I am a member of is the inverse of that. The faster club runners train alone not with the masses as the main training group is too slow and the mileage to little.

The club has a 'long' run on a Sunday which has a 6 mile and a 10 mile option. (I like to run 15 - 18 miles non stop at a faster pace than they go). A Tuesday run - 3 groups; relaxed; medium and fast. The fast group is a good pace for me but I go where I'm needed as I'm a run leader, So I do my Tuesday run in the morning. Thurs and Sat Track session. These you go at your own pace.

I'd just like to say our coaches are volunteers and very good at encouraging and incluing everyone. One in particular goes out of his way to bring along slower runners. He certainly makes them feel welcome.

For a long time the club didn't have such a large number of faster runners and i stopped running with them as the pace was too slow for me.

My second club meets twice a week for speed work, everyone is welcome and goes at their own pace.

13/10/2012 at 11:12
Crimson wrote (see)
RicF wrote (see)

I'm in two clubs one of which has Andy Badderly as a member and neither appears to be elite minded in any way. Slow runners and non runners are actually vital to us since they are the ones who tend to be the administrators.

So do you say can run under 24 minute 5k or 100wpm!?

Definitely 100 wpm. One club secretary can type at an average talking rate and naturally while never looking at the keyboard. Incidentally, the fastest typist I ever met ended up doing 4 years in Plymouth Jail for people trafficking.

13/10/2012 at 12:06
The club I run for is the biggest and best in South Yorkshire. We have members who can run 13/14min 5ks all the way up to 60min 5k. We have multiple groups of different abilities.

I will admit I don't run with the large group of 8-10min pace anymore as I find the pace too slow so run on my own or with 1 or 2 at the same 7-7:30 pace
seren nos    pirate
13/10/2012 at 13:48

a good running club will adapt and include all speeds.........our has dio#one a rota of regular runners who take it in turn to run with the back marker so no on is left behind......

they always run faster than they think they can and within months of joining a running club everyone runs faster even if that fast pasce is still 11/12 min miles..........

I liek being part of a friendly club

13/10/2012 at 15:20
Running clubs are all different and are run how the members and their representatives see fit. Would you like to see all clubs have be run the same way and fit into some sort of strict government guidelines?
seren nos    pirate
13/10/2012 at 16:15

no...i think that they should be allowed to be however they want..........but i think a good one will cover all.

if it doesn't then i expect others to form and take their slack.......there have been several new running clubs set up in our league area and i think thats great........and the cross country and our leisure leagues cater for all from the speedy winners right down to the slow coaches......

lets be honest there are not enough fast runners around to keepraces and clubs in business.......

13/10/2012 at 19:46

Some running clubs are pretty small, say 30-40members.

If a newbie joins and they only run at say 13-14min miling, and the slowest other runner is 10min miling I can see it might be awkward to include them.

My old club had a walking group for injured runners to still keep in with things, led by a regular guy who had retired from running years back.

13/10/2012 at 20:21

My experience is exactly the opposite - that clubs I know of and about are very very welcoming to runners of all talents. My first claim is well known in London to be more for what you might losely term 'fun' runners - though it also has a great many very good runners. There's another local club that is more noted for its prowess on the track and for trying to seek out quality, but I took my 11 year old daughter to a track session for sprinter last week and they could not have been nicer. The place was packed, undoubtedly because of the post-Olympic thing you mentioned, and they were putting some of the distance runners through a pretty gruelling session - but it was all about people doing it at paces they could cope with. Of course, any organised group of people will develop self-selecting cliques, but I guess it's how they conduct themselves outside those that marks them out.

13/10/2012 at 20:40
The "back end of the group" is not usually a club policy but more likely some old timer who takes it upon himself to be the sweeper man. The moaners on here need to get away from a club being some corporate McDonalds thing and realize it's just a bunch of people who with their own goals and ideas. Clubs on the whole don't hire people to look after new runners. Clubs on the whole don't hire anyone.
seren nos    pirate
13/10/2012 at 21:34

thats why we have a rota of volunteers ......lots of volunteeers to do one run every few months.......we all remember what its like starting out or getting back from injury........

if you ahve a club that hasn't got any slow members and doesn't want any .thats fine as long as you make it clear on your website and leaflets etc

13/10/2012 at 21:45
A rota of willing people sounds like a good idea.

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