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The Women's Running Network

By: Scott McBride - Updated: 3 Jan 2018 | comments*Discuss
Women Running Women's Running Network

Some women can feel intimidated by running with men, who are often more competitive. Packing in the sport is not the answer, but joining a women-only running group like the Women’s Running Network just might be. Running in a group can act as an extra motivation and many women will feel more confident with the safety in numbers.

The Women’s Running Network, founded in Devon in 1998, was the brainchild of Peggy Wiseman and Pauline Beare. The aims and objectives are to:

  • Inspire women of all ages to run for fun, fitness and health.
  • Give women the chance to participate in amateur athletics at all levels.
  • Target and support the complete beginner of any ability.
  • Bring women-only running groups to local areas.
  • Recruit and train leaders to provide appropriate support to new women runners.
Since its launch, the Women’s Running Network has grown from a handful of members in Exeter to a large organisation with groups all over England and in Wales. “The success is based on a simple philosophy - giving all women, whatever their age, size or ability, the opportunity to run together to improve their health, fitness, confidence and safety,” said Pauline.

Although the Women’s Running Network is affiliated to UK Athletics, it is not a typical running club. For instance, there is no single club night and there is not a single clubhouse. Instead, it consists of locally organised groups that are coordinated through the network. The majority of these groups are in the south west of England.

The Women’s Running Network prides itself on supporting the complete novice. The groups aim to be fun, social, non-competitive and open to every age, shape and size. Even unfit women who have never run before can find a starting place at the Women’s Running Network. Novices will be given sensible advice, support and company while they run, and Women’s Running Network will help them to identify and reach their goals.

Group Leaders

Every group leader at the Women’s Running Network holds either a Leadership in Running Fitness or Fitness in Running and Walking qualification gained through England Athletics, and because the groups are relatively small and local, runners get individual attention and their group leader will get to know them personally.

Annual membership is £20 plus a £5 England Athletics registration fee for a competition licence if you intend to participate in events. There are lots of opportunities to meet both socially and at Women’s Running Network-organised events that raise considerable sums of money for charity. A quarterly newsletter keeps members up to date with events and offers advice, running tips and information on groups throughout the country. Members also receive a Women's Running Network T-shirt, a training log book, a hand held water bottle and a membership card offering discounts at running shops.

The Women’s Running Network’s group leaders are as varied as the members themselves, with all ages, sizes, shapes, abilities and experience levels represented. What all these leaders have in common is a love of running. Those interested in becoming a group leader must enjoy sharing their knowledge and experience of running, be patient, value a complete beginner as much as anyone in their group and delight in the success of others.

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[Add a Comment]
Thank you Miss A have you looked at Paul Popham running club? Looks good for beginners.
C - 3-Jan-18 @ 5:16 PM
Caroline, I'm waiting for info back from LC
MissA - 31-Dec-17 @ 10:31 PM
Hi Jackie and Miss A have you found a beginners running group? If so would be interested if you could pass on the details as I am interested in getting fit.thanks Caroline
None - 31-Dec-17 @ 7:29 PM
Looking for contact details for general running groups in Swansea. Thanks
MissA - 31-Dec-17 @ 2:25 PM
I would really like to get fit and am interested in joining the running club. I livein Swansea area and am a beginner . Please help ! Jackie
Jackie - 18-Nov-17 @ 7:22 AM
Hi I'm looking to join a club in the bassaleg or newport or cardiff east side area...ive previously (make that 3 years ago!!) Done half marathon but am sadly out of practice and condition...need running buddies!
Kitkat - 1-Nov-17 @ 6:12 AM
Looking for a beginner running club for adults in jarrow
Scooby - 15-Oct-17 @ 8:48 PM
Hi I'm looking for meet up with anyone in the Alfreton area of Derbyshire. I want to be able to run with other women in the Derbyshire countryside. I'm not fast and not interesed in competing but want to enjoy a steady run. If anyone hasn't run before and is nervous about starting up I'm happy to take it slowly and help them build up to a distance they are happy with.Equally if anyone is already running but is looking for a running partner or ideally wants to join start a group I would love to hear from you.
Karen - 8-Sep-17 @ 9:21 PM
Hi, I'm looking for a ladies only running club for fun with the possibility of working towards a race or 2 in the Daventry, Northamptonshire area. Thanks, Emma
EmmsB - 20-Aug-17 @ 9:46 PM
Looking for beginner running club in exeter
Tracey - 30-Jul-17 @ 9:29 PM
Hi there I'm looking for a women's running group in Swansea. I am a beginner but would appreciate someone letting me know what is available. Thanks Lucia
Lu - 6-Jul-17 @ 9:21 AM
Hi .Looking for a beginners group in Swansea on a Wednesday.This is for two ..
Bev - 5-Jul-17 @ 7:46 PM
I live in Thornhill in Cardiff and wonder if any of your groups meet in Cardiff orCaerphilly which is next town to me. Thankyou
Sandra - 5-Jul-17 @ 3:55 PM
I would like to find out more about joining a women's running clun/net9work for company and to motivate me to run more.
I don't have one - 11-Jun-17 @ 2:09 PM
Is there a club in London Blackheath?
B - 9-Apr-17 @ 5:29 PM
Are there any groups running in swansea
Jen - 23-Mar-17 @ 8:05 PM
Speedup - Your Question:
Hi, is there a running group in Torquay please? If so, could you send me some details. Many thanks.

Our Response:
The Torbay Athletics Club should be able to help point you in the right directionhere.
RunningForFun - 25-Jan-17 @ 12:38 PM
Hi, is there a running group in Torquay please?If so, could you send me some details. Many thanks.
Speedup - 24-Jan-17 @ 8:42 PM
Hi, I'm looking for a running club in Swansea.I've found that I am able to run further and push myself when I run with others. Do you have a club in swansea, or could you recommend one please? Many thanks Rachel
Rcl16 - 7-Sep-16 @ 10:37 PM
Hi, I'm looking for a beginnerso club in Paignton. Thanks
Fliss - 28-Aug-16 @ 8:32 PM
Hi there Please could you let me have the contact details of the group in Swansea, South Wales, if there is one. Thanks Jane
Janie - 26-Jun-16 @ 3:16 PM
Hi can you please tell me if there is a women's running club in Paignton for total beginners?Many thanks
Nix - 20-Sep-15 @ 7:49 PM
Hi, moving to Woolacombe area in September and looking for a running pal, I'm not very fast at the moment and overweight but used to enjoy running and want to get back there.Would like to run with a beginners group or with someone who has similar goals.
Stef - 31-Jul-14 @ 8:22 PM
Hello Womens running Network, I wanted to tell your members about a fun running event run by Woolacombe Surf Life Saving Club.It is the Black Rock Run (approx 5km across the beach) and is on Friday evening, 4th July, registration 6pm from the Red Barn, Woolacombe, race at 7pm.Teams of 4 runners invited and top 10 teams win a share of a barrel of beer courtesy of St Austell Breweries (all womens winning team win bottles of wine) If you email me I can send you the poster and flier to distribute. Many thanks Nicola Oliver Woolacombe SLSC
Nicola - 23-Jun-14 @ 1:30 PM
Hi I live in Bolton - I am looking for a running buddy for the evenings after work- I am slow and overweight at the moment although working on it.
Marie - 11-Sep-13 @ 8:52 PM
Hello I'm looking (without sucess) a regular running group in torbay area I live in paignton and wold like to take up running again andI have no one to run with and was wondering if there was a local group unsure if you can give any advice but many thanks any way. Jacky adams
Jacky - 29-Aug-13 @ 10:50 AM
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