Looking for some route inspiration to see out 2019? Talk of the Tribe shines the spotlight on local running clubs as they share their favourite routes and tips for running success. Putting us through our paces this month is Guildford and Godalming AC, a diverse group of nearly 600 runners based on Tribe Sports doorstep in the leafy Surrey Hills.
Founded on the principle of ‘something for everyone’, GGAC meets 4 times a week for structured training sessions and relaxed social runs. Nestled in the Surrey Hills AONB, their 8.5km route along the North Downs Way was the clear favourite to share with the Tribe.
Club member Matt tells us: “The North Downs Way rewards you with fantastic scenery throughout the year. Starting at Merrow Downs, the winding footpaths take you up towards challenging St Marthas Hill - the view over Newland’s Corner is simply stunning. Reaching Pewley Downs is another chance to take in the views - and catch your breath - before the home stretch along Burgess Way to finish.”
When tackling this off-road route in the winter months, there are a few items the club recommends. “A decent pair of trail shoes are useful, as it can get muddy, and a cap to keep the rain off your face.” says Matt: “ The one piece of kit I wouldn’t be without is a good quality rain jacket. It’s best not to cut corners with this, as whatever keeps you going when it’s cold and wet is worth the investment.”
Matt continues: “The route is the perfect opportunity to switch off, ignore that PB and just enjoy running. It has a couple of ‘character-building’ hills and the varied terrain keeps things interesting. You’ll always spot a GGAC member on this route come rain or shine!” Club member Terry adds: “This isn’t a route for a tempo run - take it easy and enjoy the views!”
And finally, what sets the members of Guildford and Godalming AC up for success when they’re running? “If you can, run with others,” says Chloe, while Amy-Jo adds: “Whether it’s intervals, track, or just to see how you feel, have a plan and stick to it.” Club coach Marc round things up with: “Build an understanding of everyone’s running journey - that in itself will set you up for success.”
If you’re on the lookout for a running club in the Surrey area, you can find out more about Guildford and Godalming AC on their website.
Has your club recently discovered a new route in your local area? Maybe you’ve got a top running tip you’d like to share with the Tribe? If you want to get involved, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org for your chance to be featured next.
Photo credit: Charles Whitton Photography