Top Running Clubs in London

just got transferred from the US

11 messages
11/09/2012 at 04:37

Hi all,  Just found out over the weekend that my company is going to promote me and transfer me to our London office (from the US),  The family and I are very excited.  What are the top clubs in the area.  Basically, I'm looking for a larger club with good showings in club championships and the like.  I'm doing some of my best racing as a master (age 34; marathon around 2:50 and 10k times in the mid-30's), so I'm looking for a top club where I can compete.

I've talked to someone who represents Thames Hare and Hounds.  What's there reputation like?

Any help will be appreciated.  Thanks.

 

 

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11/09/2012 at 08:20

Come to Kent AC, you'll fit right in! 

But seriously, Thames Hare & Hounds are a good club and are very competitive in road racing, XC, etc. - as are we.  (We've just been promoted to Surrey League Division 1 for XC this season and TH&H will be one of our main rivals!)

However, much of the decision may depend on whereabouts in London you'll be based. I think I'd want to be in reasonably close proximity to local training groups, whether that be easy access to the club's track facilities or just for meeting up with other runners for training.

kittenkat    pirate
11/09/2012 at 08:31

Serpentine I guess? (Although I beat my Serpie rival in my last race)

11/09/2012 at 08:47

Yep agree with Phil that it will depend on where you are living and/or working.

Serpentine is the biggest and has lots of international members, but clubs like Kent, Dulwich runners, Herne Hill and HIghgate Harriers are all pretty swifty at the sharp end.

Out my way is Stragglers or Ranelagh (my club) so if you are near Richmond Park then look us up (we are also one of the oldest running clubs in the UK founded in 1881!)...

You can go along to training sessions for free at most clubs for a week or two and try it out so I would recommend keeping a few in mind in case your first choice isnt for you

11/09/2012 at 08:57

I don't want to knock Serpentine because they're a lot of things to a lot of people - and let's face it, given that they won the team prize at the London Marathon this year, they've got some excellent runners - but IMO for the OP's requirements I would suggest that some of the more local clubs would be better set up, i.e. with track-based training groups of particular standards.

11/09/2012 at 10:12

Or if you are out to the North/East, Woodford Green or Newham & Essex Beagles.

11/09/2012 at 10:19
PhilPub wrote (see)

I don't want to knock Serpentine because they're a lot of things to a lot of people - and let's face it, given that they won the team prize at the London Marathon this year, they've got some excellent runners - but IMO for the OP's requirements I would suggest that some of the more local clubs would be better set up, i.e. with track-based training groups of particular standards.

They do have some fast runners there and are good with international runners (which was why I suggested them). Agree there will be a better more individual set-up at a smaller local club

I wonder if the best bet is to pick a track you are nearest too and then find out which clubs train there

11/09/2012 at 10:29

I was just trying to think of useful resources if you fancied doing some more research. 

UK Athletics is the governing body for clubs, although the seach facility for clubs is pretty pants.  Also have a look at the UK running track directory although the London map doesn't appear to be working for me at the moment.

Here's a good one - a summary of results for previous years' Southern 12-stage road relays.  The road relays are run on a regional basis (Southern, Midlands, Northern, leading to the national champs) and are about the highest standard club races in the country.  Any of the London based teams coming in the top 20 places will be showing good evidence of strength-in-depth.  Kent AC did rather well this year, coming third behind Newham and Essex Beagles and Highgate Harriers.  Then you've got clubs like Woodford Green, Tonbridge (bit further out in Kent), Belgrave Harriers, Herne Hill Harriers, Blackheath & Bromley, Shaftesbury Barnet, Hercules Wimbledon, Hillingdon, Victoria Park Harriers, London Heathside.

These are all worthy of consideration depending on where you'll be based.  Obviously the correct answer is South East London and Kent AC. 

11/09/2012 at 10:32
Curly45 wrote (see)
 

I wonder if the best bet is to pick a track you are nearest too and then find out which clubs train there

It worked for me!

30/11/2012 at 12:31

www.londoncityrunners.com is free and we have runners that do half marathons in 1hr 11. We're not in championships but we meet around 4 times a week in central London if that helps. Tim

30/11/2012 at 21:01

Highgate Harriers if north of the river, especially if you like XC which they specialise in but also strong on the roads. Bear in mind though that if you literally go for a top London club you won't be scoring for the 'A' team and you might even miss out on a run at all in the championship races. There are pros and cons to running for the top ones.


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