ATHLETICS: Beginners at Ely Runners take on their first 5k challenge

Ely Runners at the Cambridge Park Run.

Ely Runners at the Cambridge Park Run. - Credit: Archant

Ten weeks of hard work and gruelling training culminated for beginners at Ely Runners earlier this month.

On September 9, the club’s group of newbies ran their first ever Cambridge Park Run, spanning five kilometres, supported by junior and senior members as well as coaches.

The runners trained for the challenge for just over two months, taking part in sessions on the streets and country lanes of Ely.

The club meets every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday and puts members through their paces with hill training, speed work and intervals, as well as distance running once a week.

It began life in 1985 after RAF medic Barry Garfoot was posted from Cyprus to the RAF hospital in Ely, where he met Martin Hadnett, another RAF medic and keen runner who went on to run the London Marathon in two hours and 30 minutes.

Both trained during their lunch breaks and decided to transfer their passion into a club and began running sessions from the Paradise Centre.

In recent years, Ely Runners have tackled dozens of challenges across the country and the club donated cash to a host of charities.

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This year it made a donation to MAGPAS. It has also donated to Cambridge Park Run and the Arthur Rank Charity.

A club spokesman said: “If you’re not sure where to start – come and train with us and see what you think. We are always up for people coming and joining us for a few sessions free of charge.

“The beginner’s courses started in 2012. The sessions have gone from strength to strength, and the new course, starting on the October 9, will be the club’s 17th.

“It is a 10 week course for those aiming to complete a timed 5k at the end session. The course costs just £20, with this fee being deducted from full club membership should a beginner wish to join at a later date.”

• For more information about the beginners’ sessions, or to sign up, email or visit