The Friday Run-a Short History

The Friday Run has been in existence for about 20 years. It originated in 1996, when I was training for my first ever Marathon.

I retired at the end of June 1995 (aged 49½) and one of my targets was to run a Marathon each year until I was 60. I had never been a runner and thought the best plan would be to join a club (WJ). This was Summer 1995.

Training for a first Marathon was hard as the training runs got longer. Early in 1996 George Prodrick offered to run with me one day each week. We did the Werrington Joggers Sunday run routes to start with, adding bits on as required.

After the Marathon in April 1996 we carried on the weekly runs and were joined by Andy Rawlins who worked permanent shifts so could run weekday mornings.

The runs were not always on Friday but whenever we could get together.

The coffee was from a flask and the cakes/biscuits (if any) were from the car boot.

This carried on through to 1999 when we moved house to Marholm. Occasionally other people joined in, but mainly the three of us.

After 1999 we moved to regular Friday mornings and used one or the other’s houses to have tea and cake after the run. A particularly good run was from Andy’s Dad’s house in Stamford.

As more people retired they joined in and the regulars organized a few routes from their homes and hosted the tea and cakes afterwards.

The regulars were myself, George Prodrick, Andy Rawlins, Len Rawlings, Ken Popple and others.

Around 2010 the numbers had grown to around 10 regulars and 20 occasional runners.

Someone came up with the points idea and Steve Hope now does a great job of keeping track of who ran when and where.

A cup is awarded each year for the winner.

If you host the run and run 1 ½ points, if you turn up and run, 1 point, turn up but don’t run ½ point. The idea is to encourage hosting and coming along when you are not able to run (moral support and commiserations).

Cups and small prizes are awarded on six monthly and annual basis. The statistics are always interesting. We have one very competitive dog (Rufus) who always does well (unless it’s cold and wet). Looking at the cup the first entry is 2011-Andy Rawlins but I am told Steve Hope won for the first time in 2010 but the cup was never engraved that year. We are up to 2016 when Paul Burgess was the winner.

The distances we run have changed a bit over the years so the runs are shorter and quite often we don’t all run together anymore. I remember one Friday with 10 runners and we produced 5 different routes. We all come together at the end though, which is the important point. Sometimes the non-combatants exceed the combatants.

The standard of catering has improved over the years thanks to our lady runners and support from our wives. Some of the male runners can bake a mean cake too.

The only worry is that the point can’t be far off when we meet on a Friday morning, forget to run and enjoy the tea and cakes.

I thought I would write this down whilst I can still remember.


 Jim Fell (Friday Runner)