Road runners motivated by group success

RUNNING HOT: Toowoomba Road Runners at July’s Jetty 2 Jetty – one of the events club members travel together to enjoy.
RUNNING HOT: Toowoomba Road Runners at July’s Jetty 2 Jetty – one of the events club members travel together to enjoy.

FUN and fitness in equal measure is the philosophy of Toowoomba's Road Runners.

While there are undoubtedly fast runners among the group, spokesman Stephen Butterworth said it was more about giving people who enjoyed running motivation by running with others at set times.

"I think the name Road Runners does give people the impression that we are very serious, fast, event runners, but it's really about fitness and running with people of the same mindset," Stephen said.

"And running with other people, for me at least, is always more enjoyable. We tend to run at a steady pace and run as a group rather than as individuals."

He said the club embraced runners of all ages and paces, including joggers and those just starting out, with faster runners turning back and picking up slower runners so they finished together during their regular tri-weekly afternoon runs.

Wednesday's route is 7-8km, making it ideal for beginners, with slower runners given a 10 minute start on the faster runners.

"It's a pretty flat area, but it is Toowoomba, so there's always going to be a hill," Stephen laughed.

They also hold weekly Sunday runs at various locations around Toowoomba and travel together to take part in events such as Redcliffe's recent Jetty 2 Jetty.

Two of the group's major events are coming up, with the Ridge to Ridge Half Marathon on Sunday, September 10 and the Toowoomba Marathon on October 8.

They are hoping for good numbers to sign up early after having to cancel this year's King and Queen of the Range, held in July since 1984, due to registrations below 20%.

"We probably didn't promote it as much as usual," Stephen admitted, "but people also tend to leave signing up till the last minute, and you just can't afford to run big events like this and take the punt."

September's half marathon also includes 5km and 10km flat routes, making them accessible to most runners, while the full marathon in October also encompasses three-quarter and half marathons and a 10km track, which is a fairly flat course near the university.

"The 5km run is a pretty comfortable run for most basic runners; there's not a lot of training required," Stephen said.

"For the half marathon, or anything above, you need to have done about a three-month training program."

Currently with a core group of 40-50 members, many like himself in the over-50s category, but ranging from school age to over-60s, Stephen said people were welcome to join in a run and see how they enjoyed it.

Membership is $25 for singles and $30 per family, and proceeds from the club's three major events go to the Toowoomba Hospital Foundation.

As for the King and Queen of the Range, Stephen said it would return in a "new and revitalised" format, possibly over a different section of the range, so for those of you who enjoy hills, keep a lookout.

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Topics:  road runners stephen butterworth

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