RTW runners roundup: January-February 2021

Due to the current UK lockdown which is in place there is little to report from the first two months of 2021, however, further to the announcement which was made by PM Boris Johnson on Monday 22nd February, we are excited to announce that our outdoor running group sessions will return to Southborough from Monday 29th March 2021 – more on that later in this blog post!

Virtual running groups – 50% discount

Our virtual groups have continued throughout the Autumn and Winter months and will do so for another 4 weeks before our return to outdoor group sessions.

With this in mind we have decided to offer a 50% discount for new members to our virtual all abilities running group. Up until Sunday 28th February 2021 when you book 4 sessions, you will pay just £10. Each week members receive a detailed session plan to complete any time during the week before the group have a catch-up chat with group leader and running coach Joe Watts via Zoom.

This is a good opportunity to (re) introduce some speedwork for those of you who may have struggled during lockdown and will put you in good stead for re-joining our outdoor groups from the end of March. To take advantage of this deal, please visit our RunTogether groups page.

Outdoor running groups return to Southborough from Monday 29th March 2021

After what feels like a long Autumn and Winter, our outdoor running groups finally return to Southborough after a 6-month hiatus.

In line with England Athletics guidance, formal organised outdoor athletics & running activity that is Covid-secure can take place from 29th March 2021 and, as has always been the case, the recommended coach to runner ratio is 1:12 for all settings and age groups. Therefore, sessions will be restricted to 12 people and will be provided in an environment which is Covid-secure for the safety of coach and participants alike.

To register your interest for attending our outdoor running groups, please send an e-mail to joewatts@plegafit.com

Please note that as places will be limited, priority will be given to existing members who attended our outdoor running group sessions last summer as well as those who have been participating in our virtual running groups since May 2020. We will then offer places to anyone who has registered their interest since our social media announcement on Monday 22nd February 2021. Any remaining places will then be made available for general booking via our RunTogether groups page.

RTW runners spotlight

This month RTW runner regular Heather Jenner shares her running past, present and future with us as she comes under the spotlight!

Heather enjoying the sun at Royal Tunbridge Wells parkrun in June 2019

Q. In which year did you start running?

A. 2012. Before that I ran for fitness, for sport playing hockey in my late teens and school cross country before that.

Q. Who or what inspired or motivated you to take up running?

A. In 2012 I entered my first half marathon – The Royal Parks Half, and I entered some local trail runs as I upped my distance. It was during these trail races I much preferred running through mud & forests than hitting the streets (sorry to my road running friends) so, after my target event, I started using my running to explore the local footpaths and trails.

Q. Describe yourself in 3 words.

A. Gutsy, Joyful, Motivated.

Q. When did you join RTW runners?

A. 2018 – I found my love for intervals! 

Heather pictured after her RTW runners virtual pairs 10km relay leg

Q. What is your greatest running achievement?

A. Winning a bronze medal at the British Dryland SledDog Championships. In our (my running partner is my adopted GSP girl) first season we gained a national ranking which took us to compete in Belgium & Sweden. The qualification weekend was after a long stressful week and everything just clicked that weekend as a release.

Q. What is your favourite running memory?

A. I’ve run in some amazing places, my favourite is in the French Alps. It’s a 10 stage event called the trophee des montangnes (the TDM), camping in a mountain top race village surrounded by lots of nationalities & their crazy dogs for a week. The running is really hard, my feet fall apart but I return every year. 

Q. What is it that you like about the running community?

A. Remembering everyone was a beginner once! There’s always so much friendly support on & off the trails. 

Q. What was your goal for 2020 (race destination, new distance, PB)?

A. My current goal is to commit to two solo sessions a week, and going out for one run without my watch (ok the distance will get recorded but only for mapping/ route purposes) .

Q. Has the Covid19 pandemic affected your 2020 goal in any way, if so how?

A. From Easter I’m usually training for the TDM event, last year with everything cancelled I took up mountain biking & open water swimming & I competed in my first SwimRun event. Before Covid lockdown I don’t think I would have attempted to try new sports and disciplines, it’s actually been a really refreshing change. 

Q. Have you set yourself a goal for 2021? If not, why?

A. I’m still chasing those times down, in Canicross I would love to run a sub-17 minute 5km & sub-40 minute 10km this year. They have been secret goals of mine for a while now, maybe I should start making them happen!

Love to all at RTW runners, from Heather.

If you would like to feature in our “RTW runners spotlight” section then please send an e-mail to joewatts@plegafit.com

Thank you for reading this monthly roundup blog post and we look forward to seeing you again face to face from Monday 29th March 2021!

We invite you to share your running stories & pictures with us on social media. Find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Strava @RTWrunners.

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