Before this weekends takeover event we caught up with Paul Christie who gave us the low down on the club.
so Paul, tell us a bit about Burnden Road Runners
In 1983, Vince Regan, a former international runner approached John McGovern (manager of Bolton Wanderers) to run in Bolton’s own Adidas British Marathon. John rose to the challenge and invited others to join him. Many responded and completed the marathon as members of the Wanderers Lifeline Team. Following the event a small nucleus decided that the group should continue to run and raise money for local charities, thus the Lifeline Running Group began. In 1985, the group became a fully-fledged athletics club whose name was a nod to the then home of Bolton Wanderers, Burnden Park; the ‘roadrunners’ part being inspired by one of its early members renowned for his participation in events dressed as the original roadrunner with feathered tail flowing and klaxon blaring.
What a great history, how many members does the club have now?
At the moment we have a membership of 133, with ages ranging from 20 years old to 76 years young!
Quite a mix, when do you get together?
We train on a Monday evening from Smithills Sports Centre and a typical summer session would include an off-road run of between 5 – 8 miles or an interval session up at Smithills Hall or the nearby Moss Bank Park. Sometimes the faster guys (and girls) will do a fast road run instead. We also train on a Wednesday evening up at Leverhulme Park with the ‘1 foot on the track’ team (usually Gareth or Howard).
And how do new runners get involved?
Anyone is welcome to join us on either night you don’t need to be a member. Twice a year we also run a 10-week beginners group were people new to running, or those returning after a long break, can build up to eventually completing a local parkrun; or as in some case doing much further distances.
What type of runners does the club have?
Within the club we cater for runners of all abilities. It is no surprise when one of our members wins a prize, especially in the vet categories or our ladies team. It’s also quite common for our members to be bringing up the rear of a race as well. But first or last there is always a cheer from our travelling supporters (usually injured members).
You have a well known local race and we see plenty finisher t-shirts at Bolton parkrun, tell us a bit more
Burnden host a testing 5 mile trail run, usually the first Sunday in March, on the paths and roads around Smithills Hall.
Thanks Paul, and thank you to all the members who have filled our volunteer roster for your takeover event. See you Saturday