Guidelines for Running Groups

v1.0 (25th September 2015)

To ensure the safety and enjoyment of all runners we’ve produced a series of guidelines for both run leaders and group runners to follow.

It is important for everyone to note that whilst the group leader(s) are responsible for the safe operations of the group, individual runners are still responsible for their own safety and the safety of fellow runners.

The club has a number of leaders qualified in Running Fitness; however it is not always possible to ensure that groups will be led by these individuals. Volunteers do not need to take this course to start leading groups on club runs. Striders members are already covered by the club’s insurance as part of their membership.

Slow/beginners groups and all groups from Hillsborough on a Wednesday night will carry out a warm-up prior to starting the run. Runners in other groups are expected to be warmed-up ready to run.

Groups should be no larger than 12, with 15 an absolute maximum.

All runners should arrive at least ten minutes before the advertised start times so that all groups can leave at the advertised times.

Group Leaders will:

  • Plan a route within the appropriate distance as detailed on the clubs training night web pages.
  • Carry a mobile phone for emergencies or when this is not possible ensure that someone within the group has one.
  • Ensure that the pace of the group is determined by the needs of the slowest runner.
  • Note the number of runners at the start and finish of the run.
  • Not leave anyone behind for any reason.
  • Encourage group members to move up a group when appropriate.
  • Ensure that someone escorts runners who are unable to continue due to injury or illness, back to the start.
  • If the group is becoming unmanageable due to a wide range of abilities, split the group into two asking another experienced runner to lead one of the sub-groups.
  • Report any incidents to the Committee.

All runners should:

  • Wear high-visibility clothing in the darker months (run leaders reserve the right to ask people to leave the run if they are not wearing appropriate high-visibility clothing.)
  • Carry some form of Identification and emergency contact details.
  • Not wear headphones.
  • Inform the group leader of any illness or injury concerns.
  • Notify the group leader if you are leaving the run for whatever reason (or if that’s not possible, another member of the group.)
  • Stay within contact of all members unless a split has been agreed with the leader. Faster runners should loop back at regular intervals or when requested to by the group leader.
  • If you choose to run with a group that is slower than your usual pace, do not run at the front of this group, stay back and help the leader otherwise your pace will dictate the group and make it harder for new people.
  • Cross on official road crossings wherever possible, all roads and road junctions should be approached with caution and only cross when safe to do so. Do not follow other runners across the road; ensure that you carry out your own checks before you cross. Mid-sections of a group tend to ignore traffic signals while following the front of the pack which can be particularly dangerous.
  • Do not run more than two abreast especially on busy roads.
  • Where there is no pavement, run facing oncoming traffic.
  • Give way to other pedestrians/path users when necessary.
  • Warn other runners around you of impending hazards, pedestrians, dustbins, low hanging branches etc.
  • Look after the other runners within your training group, if someone is struggling make sure that they are not left on their own or inform your run leader.

If you have any comments or suggestions for this document, please contact the Training, Coaching and Venues team via the contact form.