|the runners at the first event|
I had only been running with Dartford Sweatshop Running Community (SRC) since the summer of 2013 so was still fairly new to the group, but there were others that had been with the group since it started and over the years had formed a really strong running community.
The feeling was that this community could not just be allowed to disappear. So runner and chief editor of the So Let's Go Running magazine, Brian, along with run leaders Dawn and Les, set to work in getting this new group up and running. The group was registered as an official Run England running group and had it's first run on 7 January 2014.
|the 'so let's go running' core team|
The meeting point for the run is at the Goals football centre / The Leigh Technology College, just off Green Street Green in Dartford (postcode: DA1 1QE). The Goals centre has ample free car and bicycle parking, toilets, changing facilities and a bar area for a bit of post-run socialising. The group meets on Tuesdays at 7pm for a 7.15pm start. It is free to run, but you can contribute by buying a copy of the So Let's Go Running magazine, which features articles and run/race reports written by local runners (a couple of my parkrun blogs have been included in past issues) as well as articles on other subjects such as nutrition and cross training.
You can see the current standard 5k route in the photo below but if you'd like to examine it in more detail, feel free to have a look at my Strava GPS route from the group's second run on 14 Jan 2014 - I didn't run the first as my foot was feeling a bit iffy, but I didn't want to miss it completely so I turned up with my camera and took some photos instead.
The run heads out of the goals centre and turns left onto Green Street Green. Princes Road is then crossed via the pedestrian footbridge. The run then heads east along Princes Road where the runners use the underpasses and footbridge to negotiate the big roundabout. At the end of Princes Road there is a crossing followed by an out-and-back section along Watling Street up to the hospital roundabout and back.
From here the route continues west along Watling Street, past the fire station and cemetery entrance, over the motorway and then swings left along Pilgrims Way. At the end of this road it is a simple case of retracing one's footsteps over the pedestrian footbridge and back along the paths into the Goals centre car park.
For those who do not wish to tackle the full 5k, there is the option to cut out the out-and-back section, which takes just over 1km off of the total distance. The route is pretty well lit throughout, is almost completely flat and has minimal road crossings. There is a 7km route which is an option for those who fancy going a little further - here's my Strava GPS data of the 7km route. I think it looks a bit like a scorpion.
Plus, there is a beginners interval session that uses the run/walk technique to help new runners get started and improve their fitness before progressing to one of the other runs.
|post run chatting|
Of course, this is not just a group for the ex-Dartford SRC runners. Runners of all abilities are most welcome to come along to run or run/walk with the group. So whether you are a beginner looking for some like-minded people to offer some encouragement or a more established runner just looking for something different, please feel free to come along.
For more information you can reach the group leader, Brian, via the So Let's go running social media channels;
So Let's Go Running on facebook
So Let's Go Running on twitter