The Ramble #3 Ramsbottom Running Club

Welcome to the third issue of 'The Ramble', our occasional round up of what's been going on at Ramsbottom Running Club and what our members have been up to.

A word from the Chairman:

I can't believe that it's just 22 weeks since the very first 'open meeting' was held in The Brewery to discuss the possibility of starting a new running club in Ramsbottom.

Since that first meeting, on 5th September 2016, we have attracted 75 members (and counting), had a crazy Christmas pub crawl, trained up 4 run leaders, brought in over £2,000 worth of funding, affiliated the Club to the national governing body and covered thousands of kilometres between us!

Next Sunday, 19th February is the date of the first of our Club Championship races (Central Lancs 5K) followed by our first social event of 2017. This occasion represents a great opportunity for us to join together and celebrate how far we've come in such a short space of time.

I hope you will come along to one or both and I look forward to running, drinking and celebrating alongside you.

Enjoy The Ramble!

Rowan (RRC001)

Our affiliation to England Athletics has now been confirmed meaning members will be registered with the governing body and allocated a 'Unique Reference Number' (URN) which can be used to gain discounts to races. Affiliation also means that our members are insured whilst out running with us on Tuesday evenings.

Local Poet, and Ramsbottom Running Club member, Paul Jenkins (RRC042) has penned a verse especially for us, enjoy!

Rams on the run...

Tuesday night, The Brewery,

A crowd begins to form,

In luminescent colours,

With Ramouflage adorned,

They pay their quid and off they go,

With torches on their heads,

Beacons in the dark to warn,

Of runners up ahead,

They number up and off they go,

On carefully planned routes,

Some marathons, some gentle jogs,

There's always one to suit,

They keep the pack together,

Never leaving one behind,

Often stopping for a breather,

Never fussing over times,

Darting down the alleys,

Sprinting through the streets,

The pavements get the pounding,

From the battle hardened feet,

They go running to the tower,

They go running through the hills,

They go running round the villages,

They run and run until...

It's time to get the drinks in,

After training time is done,

As meeting with your mates,

Is always more than half the fun,

So if you're feeling active,

And you start to get the urge,

Just get down to The Brewery,

Where the runners all converge,

A friendly group to greet you,

A sea of smiling faces,

Who will always say hello,

Before they put you through your paces!

Paul Jenkins (RRC042)


Club Chairman, Rowan was interviewed for local podcast 'This is Rammy' a few weeks ago where he spoke to host Lee and told him all about Ramsbottom Running Club.

Alice, Alice... Who the F*!% is Alice?!

Hey everyone! I’m Alice Butler, the Social Secretary at Ramsbottom Running Club. I’m a ‘mature’ student at Manchester Metropolitan University where I am studying Events Management.

Rowan asked if I'd be interested in helping him organise events and socials and being on the committee of a running club sounded like a pretty exciting opportunity. Then I realised, I’d probably have to start running, which was a bit more of a daunting prospect!

I come from a family of runners; my mum Ann (who is also on the committee) does triathlons and lots of cycling, and my brother competes for Great Britain as a triathlete. They have been trying to get me out running for years – and nothing has worked! However, while on holiday in New York last year, my family had all signed up for the New York Mile. I saw some beautiful trainers in the New Balance shop and my mum promised she'd buy them for me if I ran the mile – I thought that was a pretty sweet deal!

I only began running regularly once I’d joined Ramsbottom Running Club and I recently completed my first ever 10K race – The Mad Dog in Southport. If I can run 5K (very slowly), once a week for ‘fun’ and complete a 10k, anyone can!

The thing I love most about Ramsbottom Running Club is the emphasis on being social whilst running, it’s safe to say that I wouldn’t have even thought about entering The Mad Dog 10K without the encouragement from my fellow RRC'ers. I most definitely wouldn’t run week in week out without the social aspect of the running club. I love how everyone is so friendly and encourages each other. I have found that people like to switch up their distances each week too so it means you get to run with different people each week.

My role as Social Secretary is to plan all of our social events. We are planning lots of socials for this year, from nights out to rock climbing and much more. If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them.

We have our first social of 2017 on the same day as our first Club Championship race. We'll be meeting at The Pack Horse in Affetside at 2pm on Sunday 19th February (after the Central Lancs 5K in Bolton). Even if you are not doing the 5K, please do come along.

We really pride ourselves on being a welcoming, sociable and diverse group. If you are already a member, I’m sure you'll agree and if you're not yet a member and you are reading this, I can promise you that you'll utter the words ‘why didn’t I join sooner’ once you get involved with us!

Alice Butler (RRC007)

More funding success...

We have been successful with another funding application to Bury Council, this time to the local Township Forum.

The Club has been awarded £475 to pay for a branded gazebo which we will be able to take to races and events to assist us in promoting the club.

...brace yourself for #ramouflage walls!

Richard Ferguson (RRC026) returned from Argentina recently where he tackled Aconcagua - the highest mountain outside of Asia. He told us all about his epic trip:

It felt a little surreal to be back running in the rain of Rammy the first time back with RRC a couple of weeks ago – but wonderful to be back and part of such a thriving club. Some of you may have seen or heard that I was climbing Aconcagua – and now I am back, we thought that recounting some of the insights and experiences might make a good contribution to The Ramble.

So many people before and after asked me why leave the family for 23 days to travel to the other side of the world? Well, I set out with 3 objectives which the adventure absolutely and completely delivered against:

• challenging myself and getting out of my comfort zone;

• learning about myself, creating insights and experiences to share with others; and

• getting up, around the mountain and down safely!

It was definitely the hardest 2 weeks of my life by far in terms of physical, mental and emotional challenge! Over 75 miles walked, 7,300 metres of ascent and descent, 2 big blisters, 2 weeks of extreme camping and sharing a tent with someone I had only just met. Six days spent at over 5,000 meters, a number of challenging wind-blown outdoor poos (I have mastered the bin bag technique), a score of new friends, temperatures of -25 and winds of over 60kph. Sleepless nights wondering if the tent was going to survive, stumbling in the dark and cold to secure the tent, loss of appetite, constant headaches and getting out of breath just turning in your sleeping bag. Hours of dull, soul destroying upwards trudging, step by tiny step with a pack of over 20kgs, at altitude, battling very high winds!

I made it up, around the mountain and as far as the 6,000 metre Camp Cholera on the other side, an altitude record for me! I'm afraid that's where I reached my limits or ran out of courage, confidence and most importantly desire (getting to the top was just not important enough) to push on further for the summit! Strange feeling knowing that I pushed myself so far out of my comfort zone, but not prepared to push myself to the absolute limits, 'come back safely' ringing in my ears!

It is all in the head - I was physically stronger than I have ever been, but a mountain exposes mental weakness like nothing else! Proud of how far I got, enormously respectful of anyone that summits as it is one of the toughest 7000 metre mountains in the world. As a starter not a finisher (that much is evident lol) having the tenacity to prepare so well, physically and mentally is probably my biggest achievement, training for over 7 months has probably been my strongest concerted effort ever! One of my biggest concerns was not knowing what it takes to succeed, part of the deal when you step out of your comfort zone I guess, now I do, it is always about the will and the why!!

It has also made me hugely grateful and appreciative for the little things we take for granted but so many people don't have access to - running hot and cold water, a warm secure bed, a flushing toilet, good health, good food and ample nutrition, (I lost over half a stone) the support of friends and family when you most need them and probably most important of all, the chance / privilege to break out of the constraints of current living and to try something so completely different! Thank you so very much to my family and friends for their support, patience and tolerance in this crazy dream!

My #ramouflage went with me all the way and I often reflected about the role that the club had played in my prep and I am really thankful to have introduced myself to running in a group. I hope that some of the insights and observations resonate with the challenges you face at work, home or running! Look forward to seeing you on Tuesdays - onwards and always upwards! :-)

Richard Ferguson (RRC026)

Our Club Kit has now been put into production! Unfortunately it's not going to be ready for our first couple of Club Championship races but we are sure it'll be worth the wait. To order your club vest, club tee or ramouflage training tee, please fill in the order form and transfer your money ASAP.

Paul King (RRC027) took on the 'Montane Spine Race' recently, here are his reflections from the ultra-distance race:

In January I took part in the Montane Spine Race, entering the Mountain Rescue Challenger element of the event. This starts at Edale in Derbyshire and is a race to complete the first 108 miles of the Pennine Way in less than 60 hours. It’s billed as ‘Britain’s Most Brutal Race’ and it deserves that description.

I was hoping to be writing this from the point of view of having completed the event but it was not to be. However hopefully I can give you a bit of an insight into this event and maybe you might fancy having a crack at it yourself?

It’s intentionally done at this time of year to add to the ‘challenge’. As you can see from the pictures we had a good covering of snow which increased as you got on top of the hills. The non- Mountain Rescue personnel started at 8am but we were given a midday start time which gave us 5 hours maximum daylight and after that it was very much running through the dark.

There is a significant mandatory kit list – sleeping bag, stove, food etc. to ensure that you can be self-sufficient in winter conditions and of course that’s all weight to carry. I also arranged to meet family and friends at points on the route where it crosses the main roads and a flask of hot soup and a friendly face was a very welcome sight.

The first objective was to get to Checkpoint 1 which was a couple of miles north of Hebden Bridge, a mere 45 miles away. I reached there at 4.42am, 90 minutes quicker than my previous time and 14th out of 30 people in my category. The Checkpoint is your opportunity to get a bit of sleep, change your kit and generally recharge for the next part of the race. For me though it just didn’t work. I got no sleep and my momentum lost. My race was run then.

It’s obviously very tough. The distance speaks for itself, the route is hard and the weather and darkness bring added dimensions to the event. You have got to cope with the kit and need to concentrate on your navigation, particularly at night to avoid making a serious error. You have also got to deal with that sense of isolation because for long stretches you won’t see another soul, however singing to yourself works for me! You have also got to eat like food is going out of fashion!

Bizarre as it sounds I enjoyed the majority of the event. I had learned my lessons from the previous year and was much faster and stronger as a consequence. Running over Kinder Scout in the snow was epic as was crossing Laddow Rocks and Black Hill in snowy icy moonlit isolation. Slipping and sliding from Stoodley Pike down into Hebden was however just horrific!

On reflection I have learned that I can do this kind of distance in the day but I don’t think multi-day events are my thing. If however it’s piqued your interest then by all means have a chat with me. They are running the event this year in the summer as well for the first time so if you don’t fancy all that snow then maybe…..?

Paul King (RRC027)

Guide Running

Eight of our members received some Visual Impairment Awareness Training from Bury Society for Blind and Partially Sighted People (BSBPSP) recently.

The training provided an introduction to guiding people who have a visual impairment and we are now planning on linking up with BSBPSP to encourage blind and visually impaired people to join Ramsbottom Running Club.

Are you doing something interesting that you'd like to tell your club-mates about?

Do you want to contribute to the next edition of The Ramble? Speak to any of the committee members on Tuesday evening, send us an email to or post on the members Facebook page.


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