News Thanet Roadrunners AC is 28 years young and still going strong Thanet Roadrunners AC is 28 years young and still going strong

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Report by Ed Heardman
2010-09-19 16:32:51

Thanet Roadrunners AC is 28 years young and still going strong

 

Thanet Roadrunners AC has been present in Thanet as the first port of call for runners of all ages since 1982 meaning that this year the club celebrates 28 years at the forefront of the Thanet running scene which is reflected in the wide variety of members’ ages and abilities.  The club’s junior section was started up in 1998 and in the intervening 12 years ago has gone from strength to strength with many of our juniors achieving success at a level similar to our adults.

 

During these past 28 years, literally thousands of local people have been members of the club, benefiting from coached training sessions, club trips to events and social events and thousands more have enjoyed the many races the club puts on annually.

 

TRAC members both put on, and take part in, a wide variety of road and off-road racing throughout the year.

 

Each year the club puts on road races over 10 miles, 20 miles, the half marathon and marathon distances – in fact Thanet Roadrunners are proud to offer the only officially accredited road marathon race in Kent and as such it also doubles as the Kent Championships each year as do many other of our races on a regular basis. The club also has a turn-out of several teams in the various age categories in the East Kent Road Relay series for local road running clubs and are currently the Men’s Vet 50 team champions.

 

Off-road we offer the popular cross-country duathlon and the tough Quicksands 15 beach run - additionally each winter many TRAC members, both adults and juniors, participate in the cross-country league with great success.

 

Thanet Roadrunners AC has always tried to give back to the local people and the communities in Thanet.

 

The races the club puts on, in addition to giving local runners the opportunity to test themselves, have also benefited the local community through increased revenue in local hotels and restaurants from visiting runners from further afield and also generated donations of thousands of pounds to charities.   

 

In recent years donations from race profits have been made, amongst others, to KASTDA (tsunami relief following the Boxing Day tsunami) and on a more local scale the Pilgrims’ Hospice at QEQM and Demelza House.  On an even more local scale, Thanet Roadrunners were very pleased to be able to help out the Margate Sea Cadets with a donation towards replacing their minibus following a fire and the 17thRamsgate Scout Troup with a donation towards a trailer and our next race – the beach fun run Harbour Wallbanger – will see profits going to the 1stSt Peter Sea Scouts and the RNLI

 

The club has also supported the Cancer Research Race 4 Life Thanet race through advice on course set up and race logistics, as well as supplying manpower for the set up and on the day.

 

Furthermore, club member, and for many years Club Chairman, Derek Sackett was honoured at the 2007 Kent Volunteer Awards for the many years of selfless volunteering in the sport and has set an example which many club members try to follow.

  

However this is not to say that Thanet Roadrunners do not also focus on the competitive aspect of road running and cross country.  Over the decades individuals within the club have achieved some noticeable landmarks.

 

Ultra-runner Tony Musselwhite represented GB as did Sarah Foster in the field of race walking at the tender age of 17 in Spain in 2006 and in 2002 Rob Goodwin won the 127-mile long Grand Union Canal race.

 

In the Kent Grand Prix series run over distances from 5 miles up to marathon distance, Frank Flint was the Vet 50 Kent champion in 2005 and TJ O’Connell achieved the same distinction in 2006.  Frank has also won numerous Kent Championships gold medals at distances of 10k, 10 miles and 20 miles and in 2006 was the British Masters Half Marathon champion in his age category.  Frank and TJ have also achieved success on the track over 5,000metres.

 

In 2003 a Thanet Roadrunners team of Steve Suttle, John Poole and Pete Johnson won the team prize at the London-Brighton 56-mile race demonstrating a real strength in depth over ultra-distances and in contrast to this club member Aboura Mahieddine is currently enjoying a rich vein of form which saw him finishing 2ndin a field of near 500 at the much shorter Folkestone 10-mile race at Easter.

  

In order to enable athletes of all abilities to make the best of their time and individual ability, Thanet Roadrunners AC campaigned for decades to improve facilities in the area and specifically for an athletics track and club members were pleased when this was finally realised in August 2008.  Furthermore, in order to support sports development for Thanet youth, the club part funded the cost of the post of Athletics Development Officer for Thanet when it was established – a post held by James Bridges at the time of writing.

  

Thanet Roadrunners AC offers a friendly welcoming atmosphere; qualified enthusiastic coaches; runners of all levels from those competitive at county level to those looking to simply up their fitness levels and is above all a sociable club.

 

Club membership starts at £12 p.a. for single adults and just £4 p.a. for juniors and all sessions are led by UKA qualified coaches.  There are four official adult training sessions per week and there is no further charge for any of these training sessions with the exception of any taking place at the track.

  

Thanet Roadrunners AC actively encourages runners of all ages and abilities and anybody interested in the club is welcome to come along and join club members at a training session and have a taster session – no commitment involved.

 

Details of training sessions can be found on the club website at http://www.thanetroadrunners.org.uk/new/index.phpor for the personal touch please contact Club Chairman Mark Foster on 01843 584909 or via email at markfoster62@hotmail.co.uk

 

 

 Jackie Lee

 

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