It’s been over a year since our last Talk of the Tribe, with running club meet ups across the country derailed due to the ongoing pandemic. For one particular running club, it’s largely been business as usual over the past 12 months, as their club is founded on the very principle that their members are spread across every corner of the country. With the return of club running hopefully on the not too distant horizon, we caught up with Lonely Goat RC founder Andy Leggott to hear more about his favourite running route and how the clubs unique set up has allowed them to not only survive, but thrive over the past year.
Taking the title as the UK’s largest running club, Lonely Goat RC is a running club with a difference. Rather than being based in one location, the club does not have a set meeting point and members are based around the country. Many of their members were looking for a club that could be flexible around their lifestyle and location, while still giving them the social benefits that come with being part of a club community. ‘While Lonely Goats often run solo, they’re never truly alone,’ says Andy: ‘You can join in the Lonely Goat Running Club chat and share your experiences, achievements, questions, tips and stories on the club’s social media channels.’
‘Whether you’re a complete beginner or a running expert, Lonely Goat is open to all. It’s a welcoming, positive community with an ethos of supporting and inspiring each other to achieve our individual running goals - wherever we are.’
Over the last few months, Andy has been unable to get out on his favourite running route due to lockdown travel restrictions. Now those restrictions are easing, he’s keen to head back to his favourite spot - and share the route with the Tribe. Covering around 14 miles in total, the route follows the South West Coastal Path from Ladram Bay to Otter Cove in Exmouth. ‘I tend to run this route about twice a year,’ says Andy: ‘The whole route is stunning. Starting with an amazing viewpoint at Ladram Bay, followed by Otterton Ledge which has a great view across Budleigh Salterton Beach.’
To set himself up for a great run, Andy is always sure to take plenty of hydration packs with him and a good pair of trail running shoes. ‘There’s lots of difficult terrain on this route and plenty of hills,’ he says: ‘I always like to take my phone with me on this particular route to take some snaps along the way - the scenery is breathtaking!’
‘For me, this particular route has never been about completing it in a certain time. It’s one of those routes where you can truly focus on what’s around you - and almost run watch free I would say.’
Being based in Dorset gives Andy plenty of options for routes just a stones throw from his home. ‘I’m lucky enough to be able to run from my house to Sandbanks beach or run around the stunning local park in Poole. If I'm running at either location, I will often spot some other Lonely Goats out and about in their club tops! It's great to think that I can run solo, but know I have the support of thousands of fellow Lonely Goats.’
To find out more about Lonely Goat RC, visit their website here.