Nidderdale fell running group achieves affiliation to England Athletics
Last updated Jan 13, 2023
Nidderdale fell and trail running

A Nidderdale off-road running group formed just over six months ago has become affiliated to England Athletics.

Nidderdale Fell and Trail holds three organised runs a week and a club training night on Tuesday evenings at Nidderdale Showground.

Many of the runs are around Pateley Bridge and allow members to enjoy safe and social running in some of the most beautiful routes in the Harrogate district. Some runners also compete in events.

The club, which was originally called Pateley Runners, has now become the fifth in the Harrogate district to be formally recognised by England Athletics, which is the governing body for athletics.

It joins Harrogate Harriers, Ripon Runners, Nidd Valley Road Runners and Knaresborough Striders as official affiliates.

Nidderdale fell and trail running

Running in the dark with head torches.

Si Lawson, chairman and co-founder of the group, said:

“England Athletics affiliation is an amazing achievement for a club that is only six months old.

“We’re all excited about running and racing for our club and proudly wearing our new eye catching running tops.

“We live in a rural part of the Harrogate district and as well as being an off-road running club, we are providing a safe and secure environment for our members, and are making a significant impact on our members mental and physical health.”

Mr Lawson said he expected the club’s 200-strong membership to dip because affiliation meant the introduction of an annual fee of either £36 or £20, depending on the type of membership.

Fees are necessary for insurance and coaching purposes.

Nidderdale fell and trail running athletics

Experiencing Nidderdale’s beauty close up.

The club plans to train up to 16 club members as UK Athletics-qualified run leaders to cater for the wide range of runs and distances the club offers. They range from gentle five kilometre jogs to long off-road runs of up to 40 kilometres.

Now it is affiliated, it aims to offer at least seven weekly sessions.

The club is also applying for grants on the grounds that it supports health and wellbeing as well as combating loneliness and social isolation.

Some female runners did not feel safe running alone through woods and on footpaths before the group came along. Mr Lawson said:

“Running has such a positive impact on physical and mental health. However, running solo in a rural area is isolating and motivation is difficult, particularly in winter months.

“Nidderdale Fell and Trail has forged a community where everyone is welcomed and encouraged, and a safe running environment created. This has already had such a positive benefit on mental health, and has helped numerous members with anxiety, low mood, loneliness and confidence. “


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