Fulham Running Club benefits from the Club Run Support Programme. Endurance Coach Urban Bettag delivered three coached session to help the Fulham Running Club for their busy summer race schedule.

Clubs are in the heart of England Athletics. Club Run is a free initiative by England Athletics for off-track and road running clubs. On an annual basis, interested England Athletics affiliated clubs can apply to take part in the Club Run programme. Since its inception in 2017, more than 100 clubs participated. The club support programme targets running clubs and involve runners, support coaches and run leaders. A specialist endurance running coach will work together with local club coaches within their familiar training environment and deliver a fun and fulfilling coached session for the club’s chosen event on a regular club night. The focus is on providing support, assurance, maybe a different perspective and best practices in delivering coached sessions.

One of the clubs successfully applied in 2018 for the Club Run scheme was the Fulham Running Club. Fulham Running Club is an inclusive and friendly running club, established in 2004, which has seen significant growth over the past couple of years. The club has gone from around 35 to nearly 200 England Athletics registered athletes in the past 2 years. Its social media presence is equally impressive with almost 2000 members on their highly active Facebook group. Fulham has a wide range of abilities with many competitive members taking part in races from 400m to ultra-marathon distance.

For the Fulham Running Club it all started informally, local runners organised a running meet up in 2004 and kept going. The club operates a flat organisation and anyone can join for free. Being friendly, inclusive and growing organically, not at least through their signature black-and-white running vest got the club recognised in running fixtures in and around London. As the club colours hint, the members refer themselves as Bandits (running for cover). The club ethos is welcoming and informal.

When Endurance Running Coach Urban Bettag stepped on the Barn Elms Track in Barns to meet the Bandits on their Tuesday track night, a positive vibe and infectious team ethos were almighty. Speaking to the runners, the level of aspiration was immense. Some completed an ultra-distance run, while others took part in the Vitality 10000m or take part in the local Fulham Palace parkrun. Regardless of ability level, aspiration or favourite distance, the Bandits make you feel welcome.

“All three delivered coached sessions were memorable”, said Coach Urban. Once the Bandits are on the run, there is no stopping them! Throughout the three Club Run sessions the 25-30 athletes attended the coached session. The athletes conducted a dynamic warm-up and performed a series of running form drills. The main sessions were kept challenging and all ability levels were engaged. The highlight was a ladder session with decreasing distance and recoveries followed by a Paarlauf. Maddie Marriage, Trevor Ingram and Bob Empson have coaching responsibilities in the club and were supporting the sessions.” The support and camaraderie in the club was excellent. Everyone threw themselves 100% into the sessions.”, said Coach Urban Bettag.

” Fulham Running Club were delighted to be selected for the Club Run program. Our 3 sessions with Coach Urban were highly anticipated and well attended by the “bandits”. Coach Urban was professional, yet approachable and friendly, and his sessions were engaging and informative. Our run leaders who attended the sessions were given lots of new ideas for session content and delivery, which they will be able to implement themselves in the future. Many thanks!”, Maddy Marriage, Fulham Running Club Captain

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