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RSE Club Report – How it all began!

The Start of RSE

Running Somewhere Else has entered its 14th official year as a running club in Cirencester, but club members may not know that the basis of the club was around some time before that. We still have some original club members at sessions today!

An interview with Ollie Wakefield – Founder, member and former coach

“The roots of Running Somewhere Else started as a gym running club at the old Cotswold Leisure Centre in January 2005. The plan was to set up a running club to help train for 3 events – the 5k Royal Marines Commando Challenge, 10k Royal Marines Commando Challenge and Tough Guy Nettle Warrior 2005. It was a great year with over 12 gym members and staff competing in each event raising over £500 for various charities. The success of 2005 created a lot more interest and we entered the same events for 2006 with more training on Monday and Wednesday evenings so we didn’t clash with Cirencester Athletics Club.

As popularity increased to take part in the events, we formed a partnership with the Alexcars coach company to drive us to the event in Exeter. We now boasted over 40 entries for the Commando Challenge event (although not everyone joined the training on Monday and Wednesday nights) and the buzz around the gym could be noticed. Many members talked about the events and looked at pictures from 2005 that helped promote the next event. 

Commando Challenge 2007

Very early on the running club suddenly felt like a community and it was in 2006, I met John Buck (known to some club members as ‘Bucky’). John was determined to improve on his running and find something that involved running but not on a treadmill – mainly due to 2 epic fails, one was when he stopped mid flow on the treadmill to watch something on the TV screen. I’m sure it’s when he got the winner at the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

John was hooked straight away, and whilst he felt the benefits both physically and emotionally, I occasionally felt when I talked to him that his mind was wandering elsewhere and knew it wasn’t because he didn’t care. Quite the opposite, he was thinking about how much this has helped him and how it could grow.

BBQ at Somewhere Else after Cirencester 10k, 2010

Unfortunately things came to stand still when the leisure centre closed and we had to wait until the new leisure centre opened in 2007. After the closure of Cotswold Leisure Centre, we spoke to a neutral friend Andy Sampson (‘Sampo’), who was manager of the Somewhere Else bar in the town centre, and asked if we could use the pub as a base for the running club whilst we wait for the new leisure centre to open. He welcomed us in straight away and the following week we started training Monday and Wednesday evenings at 6pm with beers and squash served as refreshments after the running session. Obviously, we paid for the beers!

A few weeks passed and it was apparent this was becoming something quite special. No longer attached to a gym, we started to attract anyone and everyone. It was a real sociable community, great friendships were formed, runners fell in love (Alastair and Jo Wood) and it was quite obvious some healthy competition was forming with Cirencester Athletics Club.

After a few (many) drinks, John and I spoke about how to get the club affiliated in 2007 – It was pretty simple, like any community based programme, you have to form a constitution. So, the first official roles were handed out to form the constitution and I carried on my role as Head Coach.

The Jamaican style running vest was something I wanted to use to stand out and with the constitution all on board and with approval from Phillipa Sawyer to amend the Somewhere Else logo and add the runner. It was off to print to purchase our first batch of running vests for members. The credit to the name ‘Running Somewhere Else’ has to go to Craig Gill – a local osteopath, who was often part of the social setup despite not being a keen runner!”

Favourite Race and Memory?

“For me it has to be organising the St James’s Place Charity run with the local Bathurst Estate and the rest of RSE (our first running event before Fairford 10k). The club and volunteers helped organise an event that raised over £20,000 for St James’ Place Children foundation and it was a proud moment to see runners in our yellow vests taking part, some volunteering to help marshal the event and celebrate afterwards with beers at Somewhere Else bar.

My personal favourite race was Bourton 10k in 2008 – my first 10k in a yellow vest under 40 minutes.”

Ollie Wakefield running the Bourton 10k

What I’m doing now?

“Still equally passionate about running – probably just as many miles just a lot slower.”

Jo Wood Running in RSE’s red, yellow and black since the beginning!

“I’m one of the few still in, alongside Andy Sampson, Tracey Pitts and Sallie Clatworthy! It was the brainchild of a few notable people who used to go the gym. A group of likeminded people who wanted to run races, get quicker as well as be sociable. We used to run from the leisure centre every Wednesday night.

There are some names of note who set the ethos of the club as we know it today – John Buck who made sure we were adhering to the rules, Philippa Sawyer and Sampo, who provided the venue, club name and conviviality that is now a mainstay of the club ethos. Ollie Wakefield we can credit with the club colours and the idea of training properly, not just going for a jog! Sallie and Tracey have also done so much for the club over the years, and continue to do so!

Over the years, the challenges have got harder, quicker and further, and as the word got out and our colours were seen across town, I guess we just grew!

When Ollie hired a coach from Alexacars in 2009, we had a fab day out at Reading half. It was such fun! They parked us right by the main start – properly VIP!”

Reading Half Marathon, 2009 – How many current club members can you spot?

RSE, quite literally, Running Somewhere Else

Over the years, club members have entered races in all part of the world – most notably, Mark Manley, who has completed the Abbott World Marathon Majors and aims to run on every continent in the world. Another club member to have run in some interesting locations is Linda Edwards, who has run Sofia Half Marathon and Berlin marathon since she joined RSE. A club trip in 2017 to Amsterdam marathon also saw many members running their first marathon, getting sunburn and painting the town red, yellow and black!

In the upcoming reports, we plan to re-visit some of the club’s achievements all over the world, so stay tuned!

If you can see a country you’ve raced in that hasn’t been coloured on the map above, contact Ellie Taylor know – let’s see how much of the world we can colour as a club.

Club Championship

All of the Club Championship winners since the beginning

The club championship has been running since 2008, when club members Debbie Barrie and Barry Sampson took the trophies. There have been many winners over the years, and some who have won more than once! (We’re looking at you Sharon Smith!)

As well as the club championship, Running Somewhere Else now has the Short and Long Stuff Specialists and the Park Run Cup, designed to put all runners on an even playing field!

Club captains Elaine Chapman and David Witnall are staying up-to-date on race protocols and guidelines during the Covid pandemic. Hopefully we’ll be back racing soon!

RSE Club Report – Dedicated to all frontline workers

Thank You

RSE would like to give a huge thank you to all of those working on the frontline as key workers over the last year. There are many members of the club who have friends and family working in high-risk areas, as well as some of our runners themselves. Thank you for all of your hard-work in this difficult time. Without you, we could not have got through the last year, and we appreciate all you have done to keep our community running.

Let’s hope that it isn’t too long before our club can get back together and celebrate properly.

Kev + Caroline Joynes-Creeds’ hilarious medals from the Shouty Dave 10k!

Kev’s Question

For those of you who haven’t seen on social media, head coach Kevin Joynes-Creed has a question for you:

If you are learning a new skill, or trying to improve upon one you already have, do you believe that practise makes perfect?

Answer below, or login to RSE pages on Facebook or Instagram to share your view. We would love to hear your thoughts!

Club Weekly Totals

*According to Strava at 17:50 on 14/02/2021

When the total was checked at 3pm, the mileage was 1,280 – that means club runners ran over 50 miles in the last few hours! Well done team RSE!

Speed Up, Cool Down, and Stretch

Fartlek Efforts

Every time someone says ‘fartlek’

This week, head coach Kevin Joynes-Creed, invited runners to complete a Fartlek session to challenge the body with various speeds. Runners needed to use their surroundings, picking landmarks to run at speed to. Well done to everyone who completed the session this week, particularly if you went out in the rain on our normal Wednesday club session night!

It’s not too late to complete the session if you fancy some fartlek-ing! Click the link left for more information on fartleks, what the session entailed and the benefits of the session.

There are only 3 Wednesdays left in February! – Why not challenge yourself to complete every effort session for the rest of the month? You could reward yourself with some pancakes at the end!


With club sessions on hold, it’s very easy to miss a very important part of running, the post-run stretch. Most of us are guilty of skipping a stretch or getting too distracted when we first get home from a run, and without the coaches watching or reminding us, it’s very easy to forget the importance. Not only does stretching help a runner avoid injury, it also helps to improve flexibility and cool down gradually. So what stretches are best?

Here are the stretches our RSE coaches lead us through after a club session:

With legs apart, try to touch the floor
Stretch down to your left foot, and then your right foot
With 1 leg straight in front and a straight back, sit slightly on the other leg. After 10s, reach down and try to touch the toes. Switch legs.
Front leg bent, straight back leg. Switch legs.
Side lunge to the left and right
Standing on 1 leg, hold your other ankle (it’s okay to use a wall for balance)
Raise one arm over your head and lean to the side. Switch sides.
Hold your arm across your chest to stretch your shoulder. Switch arms.
Hold one arm up and place your hand in the centre of your back. With the other hand, hold your elbow.
Both arms up at a right angle and then push them back. Ease off, then repeat

Each stretch should last around 8-12 seconds and should be done after running.

If you would like more information on the benefits of each individual stretch, or are unsure on a pose, just contact a member of the coaching team.

Club Weekly Totals

*According to Strava, 07.02.2021 at 5pm

That’s more than last week! Fantastic work team RSE!

Club Update January 2021 – Running into the New Year!

With most races postponed for nearly a year, club members have found new and inventive ways to keep themselves motivated and running, setting themselves challenges to get through the lockdown and a very cold winter.

Steve Edwards – “The Godfather of Running”

Inspiring club members this week was a talk from Steve Edwards, the world record holder for 900 official marathons completed in sub 3hours 30 minutes. Over 25 club members joined the talk, in which Steve put his achievements down to “Discipline, dedication, desire and determination” and a lot of hard work! Steve gave tips on fuelling, training plans and tackling injuries, encouraging runners to find a routine (including strength work), love hills, and have rest days.

“Thoughts to Remember – The comfort zone is a wonderful place to be, but to achieve great things we need to step out into the unknown and embrace uncertainty, the doubts and the knockback, only then will we truly know what amazing feats we are capable of!”

RSE members raised money for a charity chosen by Steve, Kate’s Home Nursing, who offer palliative care to patients in Gloucestershire and West Oxfordshire.

Thanks go to Linda Edwards for organising this fascinating talk.

The Distance, the Mud and the Speedwork

January has seen heavy rain and snowfall, so it would have been tempting to hibernate rather than go for a long run! But RSE runners have not shied away from the cold, instead setting goals to complete high mileage during the month.

Club Chair, Pauline Tilbury, joined a Strava challenge, to help keep focus during the month. Strava challenges are an excellent tool for virtual inspiration, often with a leader board, and a notification ‘crown’ when you’ve completed them.

I do usually run at least 100 miles in a month but I thought January may be difficult due to lockdown, dark evenings, bad weather and going back to full time work, so clicking on the Strava challenge just kept me focussed on getting out there and doing the miles a few times a week

Pauline Tilbury

Another club member to use Strava as incentive was Caroline Terry, who exceeded her challenge for 100 miles in the month by quite some way – 111.5 miles for the month! Here are some stunning countryside shots from Caroline’s runs:

Elaine Chapman also set herself a distance goal on Strava, this time with a goal of 200km. Elaine ran over 250km this month – if my calculations are correct, Elaine bettered her target by over 25%!

No stranger to virtual races is Elliot Gardner, who chose DB Max’s iRun Virtual Challenge for January. The race goal was to run over 50 miles or 15 runs to earn a medal – Elliot selected the 50 mile option and smashed his target by running even further.

I used it as another motivator to get out on a run 2-3 times a week in this miserable weather and also to complete some longer runs at the weekends. Final total was 52.58 miles.

Elliot Gardener

Running goals come in all shapes and forms, so it wasn’t just distance that RSE club members aimed for in January. While some runners planned for speed or new routes, others overcame barriers to return to running after a period away. A massive well done to everyone who set themselves a goal that they completed!

After suffering an Achilles injury in 2020, Amanda Ball set a goal to complete the RSE coach’s effort session – a tough 10 minute tempo run with 6 sets of 2 minute intervals, set by coach Nadine Brown.

I felt a sense of accomplishment in getting out and doing Nadine’s efforts for my first bit of speed work in quite some time. Having spoken to physio I decided to test out how much ‘loading’ my Achilles can handle, it’s almost a year since it was first injured. I had to remind myself how to programme intervals into my App too. I was pleased for the company of my watch commands as I was running solo – I much prefer to run with RSE buddies!

Amanda Ball

Club member, Mark Manley, known for his penchant for long runs had to put a halt to his marathon streak in 2020. In the absence of races, Mark ran a half marathon every day for the last week, totalling 101m for the week! That’s a lot of miles!

If the nickname “Shouty Dave” is mentioned, most club members seasoned in DB Max races know who the reference is to. If you haven’t seen him in a race, you’ve more than likely heard him… Completing the Shouty Dave Virtual 10k were Caroline and Kevin Joynes-Creed – lovely to see some photos of RSE race vests!

The virtual race raised money for Wiltshire Air Ambulance, a charity close to Dave’s family and one they would usually race money for through the Royal Wootton Basset Triathlon.

Kevin and Caroline finished the race in 1 hour 6 mins and 20 seconds.

It was very cold, muddy and wet and I fell in the mud coming out of Haresbush. It was also flooded by the outdoor pool so did the last 4K with soggy feet!

Caroline Joynes-Creed

Club Teamwork

*Weekly club totals according to Strava, as of 5pm on 31/01/2021!