Clubs are the lifeblood of running. They offer guidance and encouragement to newcomers and improvers alike. They organise races and provide the officials and marshals that are essential to so many events. But perhaps most importantly they also create a social and sporting hub for the communities they operate in. Without clubs, running as we know it would not exist.
To celebrate the achievements of running clubs, Runner's World, in partnership with New Balance, is once again searching for the UK's best running club.
Last year we presented Halifax Harriers (above) with the award in recognition of its all-round excellence. It is accessible to all ages and abilities; a pillar of the local running and social community; and successful across a range of competitions and age groups.
We want you to help us find the successor to Halifax Harriers. We are looking for clubs that demonstrate many of the same positive attributes and similar record of success across a wide area of activity. The award is open to all clubs old and new and of any size, specialising in any area of running.
The winning club doesn't necessarily have to be the biggest or most successful, although those could be contributing factors. It could also include any of these reasons:
- It plays a pivotal role in the local community, perhaps demonstrated by a commitment to race organisation in the area, training programmes or other social events.
- It has an outstanding record of race success in relation to the size of the club.
- It has a impressive record of attracting beginners and juniors to the club then nurturing them into regular members.
How to enter
Nominate your club by downloading and completing our Best Running Club survey. By answering these questions, you'll help the judges make comparisons between clubs of disparate size, reputation and ability.
Once your submission is complete, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, remembering to include "UK's Best Running Club" as the subject line of your email. Entries close Friday, March 12 2010.
A carefully-selected expert panel will then decide on a winner, and the winning club will receive 50 sets of New Balance Kit (25 women's and 25 men's) comprising technical tees and shoes.
Running clubs are the heart and sole of the running community. It is these clubs and the volunteers that run them that enable runners of all ages and abilities achieve their personal goals. We at New Balance applaud this community of runners and are immensely proud to give our continued support to this prestigious award, which celebrates the achievements of running clubs across the UK and Ireland.
Why not find out more about New Balance at www.newbalance.co.uk where you will find information on our running footwear and clothing, our events and our manufacturing facility in Flimby, Cumbria where we make over one million pairs or running shoes every year.
Terms and conditions
No purchase necessary. Closing date for receipt of entries is Friday, March 12 2010. Voting forms will not be accepted from employees of any company eligible for voting in any of the awards categories.