April 24, 2014 George Foster

What’s in a club?

Who knows? And frankly who gives a f@*k? Turns out I do at the moment.


So I’m a bit of a romantic at heart (bit gay but go with it) and like the idea of staying with one club throughout my ‘career’, after all when did a bit of loyalty ever hurt anyone….apart from ze Nazis?! I also like the idea of joining my local club and supporting them as much as possible.

My first club was my local club, quids in right? Wrong sucker! I’ve moved. To another freakin country no less! Nowt local about them now right?! Co-rrectum!! Cue quandry! Oh woahest me!! It’s a tough old life eh? Before you judge me though just remember….you’re still reading this!

I’m in a rut. I want to get better at running. I like the idea of a club. Meeting people. Getting involved in the local ‘scene’. Camaraderie. Being a sheep and wearing matching clothes. It’s that tribal mentality thing I ‘spose. I know what you’re thinking…..”please, tell me more!”….OK.

I’m living in Arbroath. There’s not a great many decent running clubs round here….before you cry “Yes there are!!” let me just tell you…..no, no there aren’t. Fife AC are the closest but they’re pretty fragmented and I’ve not seen a member of theirs under the age of 50. Prove me wrong? Here’s a list of the potential options (including the obvious i.e. stop boring people with this and stick with the one you’re with)……..

Fife AC – strong showing in cross-country and road events, active across a vast swathe of eastern Scotland like a mini fiefdom = good; combined membership age of 6,878,323,932,873,108 and not really a FELL club = bad.


Carnethy HRC – never really heard of them before this years first British C’ship then BOOM they’re up there absolutely killing it = good; trying so hard not to be seen to be trying hard = uber chad website spiel = bad (but still ripping it up on the fells).


Hunters Bog Trotters – a ‘classic’ fell club i.e. don’t seem to give a shit and run really hard, crap looking (literally! it’s pooh brown) vest, fell beasts, shite website = good; that name?! WTF?! = bad.


Westerlands CCC – lots of fell-wads, strong in the cross-country and road things = good; from Glasgow, like rabbits (there’s hundreds of the bastards!!), one of them shouted “Westies!” at the start of a race I was in = lame = bad.


Ochil Hill Runners – rapido! used to be my local hill club when I was at uni, sentimental value, out and out fell runners by the looks of their name = good; SUPER SERIOUS what-you-looking-at persona = bad.


Mercia FR – my REAL local club, got some proper nails runners and everyone rods them off cos they think there can’t be any good fells in the Midlands (bad move, there are), understated = good; never met one so don’t know if they actually exist, nowhere near where I actually live = bad.


Ambleside AC – my first and current club, kings and queens of the South Lakes fells, mountain legends in the ranks, emotional attachment, awesome training value on the doorstep = good; no longer on my doorstep = bad.


Borrowdale – split from Keswick AC (previous all-conquerors from North Lakes) cos they weren’t “Fell” enough and went on to form their own proper club before going on to smash everything going and set up a bit of a dynasty (seems like everyone who runs for them is an ex-English or British Champion) = good; combined age more than Fife AC, probably not good enough to join = bad.

Nope. Still no closer to picking one. Was fun though eh? You’ll never get those 10 mins back either. 





You’re welcome.

Comments (4)

  1. Ryan

    Like it. But my advice is to sack the lot of them off.

    I recently binned one of the aforementioned ‘clubs’. Why?; Too many folk to be a ‘club’ as such, only a fraction of them are ever seen, super cliquey and none of them ever recognised me , let alone speak to me. Oh, and those singlets?! Seriously, singlets were only cool (if they ever were) in June 1971.

    Run for fun, forget the clubs.

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