Clapham Chasers has always had an active trail running contingent and our profile has increased significantly over the past few years, both within the club and in the wider trail running community.
If you haven't tried trail running before then you're in for a real treat... there's fantastic scenery, varied terrain, great company, loads of jelly-babies, and it's all very relaxed and sociable.
As with all of our training sessions, we aim to help make trail running as accessible as possible and actively support and encourage participation in social training runs as well as a wide range of trail and fell races. We cover the full range of distances - from 5k up to ultra distance.
With most of our members taking advantage of the club's comprehensive training schedule during the week, we tend to do most of our trail running at the weekends. We think of them as social trail runs rather than hardcore training sessions - a message with all the details is usually posted on the club's Facebook forum during the week, and all trail runs are open to everyone regardless of ability.
To complement the training sessions, we also provide talks and coaching opportunities that will help build speed, confidence, and technique on the trails, regardless of your level of experience or ability.
In terms of where we run, the North Downs Way and Surrey Hills, the Vanguard Way, and the South Downs Way are some of our particular favourites, but we are always keen to explore new trails and routes. During the winter months we often run mid-week Headtorch Runs on Wimbledon Common or in Richmond Park - not only a great way to great an additional trail fix, but also brilliant training for longer ultramarathons when running at night is unavoidable.
With no formal trail league, we tend to choose a variety of events throughout the year to enjoy some racing. If the events are near London they can be done in a day, but if they're further afield we usually book accommodation and make a weekend of it.
One of the most important aspects of trail running is of course the social aspect, which more often than not involves refuelling with lots of cake! Most of our weekend trail runs and weekends away involve plenty of opportunities to get to know each other and talk trails – whether over food (especially cake - you might notice a theme here), a hard-earned drink, or both!
If you have any questions about trail running, or would just like a bit more information about what the Chasers can offer, please feel free to contact Cat Neave at firstname.lastname@example.org.