club vest or no club vest?

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13/04/2011 at 16:28
I think running clubs are the best kept secret in the country, where else can you meet new friends, get at least one decent workout a week and have access to so much more for less £ each year than it costs per month in your average gym. Even things like BMF (which I'm not knocking btw) still cost more per month than a running club costs per year.

Why anyone would want to discourage supporting a club is beyond me, and I haven't noticed it to be the case at Leeds anyway
13/04/2011 at 23:08
^^^ I wish mine was cheaper than a month's gym membership. Mine costs £28 a year and then £2 each time you go.
14/04/2011 at 21:09
@Dean101 - Really? What club do you run for?
14/04/2011 at 21:22
Stockport Harriers. I wouldn't mind but there was no mention of the £2 per session extra until I had actually joined.
14/04/2011 at 21:46
I know our club sometimes costs £3.50 per session on track night but you get that back afterwards. I haven't heard of clubs charging per session before (either that or I owe my club a fair bit of cash)
seren nos    pirate
14/04/2011 at 21:54

we don't pay any extra at all.unless you go to a specific track session...we have had to increase thisyear to aboy £25 as the welsh athletics increased their cost

14/04/2011 at 22:02
Its common in London to pay extra for track sessions since the clubs dont own the track...maybe its the same with Stockport (although I thought they did own their track cause its used for the parkrun isnt it??)
15/04/2011 at 10:17
That's why we have to pay for track sessions (because we have been using Leeds Met track) but the club budgeted to refund members so you got the money back eventually anyway. Other than that we never have to pay extra
16/04/2011 at 20:30
Right. The official answer is that in the early days, as in the 'Bushy Park Time Trial' and then the its first offspring, the 'Wimbledon Common Time Trial' club vests were discouraged.

The one element of this that has been picked up in the thread was that the Time Trial & parkrun was meant to be inclusive. Now this isn't the same as saying running clubs are not inclusive... but the thought was that whippet looking runners sporting club vests MAY put off new runners who may feel that this wasn't an event for them. This though was not the primary reasons.

The event was a 'time trial' for individuals, not a race. As such seeing as runners were not representing clubs, but only themselves, club vests were not required.
This was actually quite important as before the parkrun concept spread with backers cash (Nike, Lucozade) etc. The events were were organized without any insurance which would have been required if they had been billed as races. As such the less race like appearance the better. So lots of runners wearing all sorts of tops looks a lot less race like than a field made up of 50% club vest wearers! If you think this sounds crazy - just remember the reaction of that old chap in Newcastle who tried to get the parkrun there banned by the AAA!

(Some local clubs in London also objected to the Time Trial/parkrun concept - but as you all know they soon saw the benefits instead & very came on board. Helping volunteer at them, hand out fliers for local races & build bridges with people who normally would never have thought that a running club was for them).

As the concept of parkruns has grown, so the need to constantly remind officials/land owners/councils etc that these aren't races (and thus chargeable for using facilities, having to have St Johns in attendance etc), has diminished so has the original 'no club vests' ethos.

I'd say that now the 'no club vest mindset' is very much an old school mentality kept up only by the early adoptees. With every new event this ethos is considered neither here nor there, & no one really cares a jot. Even in Wimbledon where Ian sports his TH&H vest with pride come rain or shine. As people involved in parkrun only care that people are out running. Failing that just run bare chested - it worked for Craig Mottram & he's still the fastest ever around a parkrun course.
16/04/2011 at 22:48
Leeds is my local parkrun and I've never worn my club vest - might sound odd but it's never really crossed my mind to do so.  I don't think of it as a 'proper race' so no associated butterflies etc, but a nice run round the park in a relaxed atmosphere.  Doesn't mean I don't challenge myself, because I do.  I'm never going to break any records though and Ralph the juggler beats me every week, as does the chap with the running buggy

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