The North East is a friendly place, as anyone who’s ever taken part in the AJ Bell Great North Run would agree.
And it’s that trademark North East warmth that makes it a fantastic place to join a running group. In fact, just about every club in the region prides itself on offering a warm welcome and a packed social calendar to complement the more athletic side of things.
So where to start when there’s so much choice? Well, if you are looking for a running club in the North East, our round up below is a good place to start and could help to point you in the right direction.
Newcastle running clubs
It’s hard to get more central than the Tyne Bridge Harriers, who meet at East End Pool in Byker. They have five training groups for all abilities, ranging from those who are just starting out or recovering from injury through to the super speedies. You can sign up for a free trial session before committing to an annual membership and there are organised runs or training four times a week. Find out more or drop them a message via their website.
Claremont Road Runners are another super central group, based at the Sports Centre at Newcastle University just off Claremont Road – hence the name. Members are aged 8-85 and there are two regular weekly sessions: Monday night training runs and Wednesday night intervals. They organise a quarterly social and the annual Weetslade Relay and membership works out at less than £1 a week. Contact them about a free trial.
Newcastle Frontrunners are a friendly, inclusive running club for LGBTQ+ runners and their allies. With over 150 members, it’s a great place to make new friends – plus they have a regular monthly social as well as special seasonal celebrations. They win extra points for their cool kit and lots of mentions of cake on their website. We’re in.
Northumberland running clubs
Northumberland runners are a lucky lot, with breathtaking landscapes, stunning coastline and over 70 castles in the region to liven up their routes. And they’re also lucky in terms of local running groups, with well-established clubs in Blyth, Alnwick, Wooler and the Allen Valley to name just a few.
Blyth Running Club was established shortly after the first ever Great North Run and has gone from strength to strength since. Mainly road runners, the club has over 100 senior members and 40 juniors, and organises at least two running sessions and a strength and conditioning session per week. Free introductory sessions available.
Then there’s Tweed Striders, who describe themselves as friendly and inclusive. The club caters for all abilities, with twice-weekly run sessions and a run-walk programme for those just starting out. Their Facebook page is the best place to find out about sessions, races and results.
Gateshead running clubs
Head South over the Tyne and you’ll find yourself in Gateshead, home to a number of well-established running clubs. First up, there’s Gateshead Harriers, based at the iconic Gateshead International Stadium. Here, you’ll find sessions and training for runners aged 8+, and even a mini group for younger runners. Tuesday and Thursdays are training nights, and there’s plenty of opportunity to get involved in local and regional running events. Find out more here.
Head a bit further out and you’ll find Low Fell Running Club – another great option if you’re in the Gateshead area. Regular run nights are Tuesdays and Thursdays from the Gateshead Fell Cricket Club, plus there’s a Women’s group on Mondays and a dedicated Juniors session on Tuesdays. Small, friendly and affordable, they’re well worth a try if you’re in the area. More here.
South Shields clubs
South Shields Harriers are based at Gypsies Green on the seafront – a location that’s hard to beat. Friendly and inclusive, they run regularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays and have a big presence at events and races around the North East. Memberships are available for juniors as well as families – so if you’re looking to get the kids involved, South Shields Harriers is a great place to start. Find out more here.
Run, Eat, Sleep South Shields was set up by local Luke Adams in the hope of converting more beginners to the magic of regular running. There are organised runs for members almost every night of the week, and sessions cover a range of abilities. Membership comes with lots of benefits, including joining the RES South Shields Strava and Facebook groups and a customised training plan. Book your free taster here.
Sunderland running clubs
Mackem Runners, you’re in luck: Sunderland City Council have a handy list of local running clubs and events which you can check out here. It covers the city as well as council areas such as Washington and Houghton.
Finally, Durham is also blessed – with running clubs as well as Northern saints!
Fancy something central and well-established? Try Elvet Striders, who meet on Mondays and Wednesdays at the University Sports Centre and cater for runners of all abilities. Durham Mums on the Run also run twice a week in and around the city and, despite the name, you don’t have to be a Mum to join. Fancy something a bit different? Try Durham Fell Runners – the only fell running group in Durham – who meet every Thursday evening at Hamsterley Forest, although you can keep up-to-date with happenings on their Facebook page.
So, as they say in the North East, nee excuses – with such a huge range of friendly clubs out there, who’d want to run solo?