An image showing Taunton Running Club members outside Blackbrook Leisure Centre in Taunton, Somerset

Taunton Running Club (TRC) - A Brief History

The first meeting of Taunton Running Club was in September 2014. There was small group of six runners that turned up outside of the Viridor building. It was enough for a fun group run and off we went for a few miles. As we talked and got to know each other, we also talked a lot about what kind of club we wanted. It was decided that we didn’t want to take it all too seriously and we also didn’t see the point in having to pay for what should be a free activity! Ever since we’ve always met in a town centre car park and kept it simple.

Clearly there are some overheads associated with organising a club – website and any kit and equipment. So after a few months an innovative model was born where we sell club kit and the profits run the club.

The club grew very rapidly in it’s first year as more runners got to know about it. It also coincided with the rapid uptake of running, as people began to realise the physical and mental health benefits of this activity. As TRC didn’t have to adhere to any formal body of running, we didn’t have to set any barriers to joining. The mood was social and we welcomed people of all abilities to join us.

Moving into the second year the club began to experiment with having junior runs, for school -aged children. Not long afterwards the Junior Parkrun effort began and we enjoyed seeing the kids doing their best, participating and achieving great times. We also had some track sessions running at this time for people that wanted to improve and these took place at the Castle School athletics track. More people started to get interested in running longer distances and a few entered for London Marathon and also further afield. There’s always been a good core of charity running in the club and many fun fundraising events taking place. We’ve seen things like Skittles and quiz evenings, virtual horse racing, things made and sold, exercise bike rides in the shopping centre – literally allsorts and a lot of good money raised along the way.

Over the years the club grew to being the largest independent club in the south west UK. And with this came the need to organise the groups safely into smaller numbers, with varying success! Some groups were just too popular for their own good! Local races were well represented, particularly Taunton 10k & Half Marathon, Bridgwater and Wellington 10ks. Often a group would go off further for a day trip out – the Bideford Half sticks in my mind – always a popular roadtrip run in the calendar.

After a brainwave and following on from the success of the Couch to 5k App from the NHS, the club launched it’s own. And over the years there have been some notable successes out of the programme. I have to say there have also been too many drop out too as they’ve found it got too hard, too quickly! Keep your eyes on this space as we give the program a tune up!

Other notable events in the calendar include the Canal Run just after Christmas – train to Bridgwater and an actual flat (not undulating!) half marathon run back into Taunton. We also have our Tinsel Run on the club right before Christmas where we get dressed up and have a (very) short run around town followed by mince pies and mulled cider. Parkrun on a Christmas Day is always a favourite too!

If you’re interested in running with us at TRC, then sign up for membership in the first instance.. We’d love to welcome you!

Club holiday in Portugal
An early club photo - Sunday run
A Tuesday club run in summer