The Dacorum AC Road Runners club is open to all standards of runners (both male and female) in a safe and friendly atmosphere.
We meet at the Athletics track at Jarman Park, Hemel Hempstead, every Tuesday and Thursday from 6.30pm. As we cater to a wide range of athletic abilities and aspirations (hares and tortoises), you’ll always be able to find a suitable running mate.
We train on the roads and footpaths around Hemel Hempstead and on the track, running from 2 to 8 miles each session. There are always several groups of varying speeds and abilities, from pure beginners to keen marathoners, and each group is led by England Athletics ‘Leadership in Running’ coaches.
New members from 16 years and up are always welcome, regardless of ability, and you don’t have to commit yourselves immediately; just try us out for a couple of weeks to ensure we meet with your approval!
Although competing in races is not essential, we are currently in Division 1 of the Chiltern Cross Country League, which involves five races throughout the winter months, and we also participate in local, regional and national road running events.
We are open to all members of the community, from those who just want to run for pleasure and to keep fit, to athletes who enjoy the competitive aspect of the sport and thrive on competition.
We’re also a very social group, and we’ve got the photographic evidence to prove it! Every year, we go on several ‘road trips’ to events around the UK, ranging from half marathons on the Isle of Coll in Scotland to the Exe to Axe fell running relay on Devon’s Jurassic Coast – not forgetting The Spitfire Scramble, an unforgettable 24-hour relay marathon in Hornchurch country park in London.
Many members of our club also do one or more marathons each year, including the Virgin London Marathon (the club awards several places to members on an annual basis), the Brighton Marathon, Snowdonia, Abingdon, the Bournemouth Running Festival and many more – and there are a number a couple of ultra-marathoners in our midst, But it’s not all long haul; we try our hands – and legs – at a wide range of half-marathons, 10 milers, 10km, regular 5km Parkruns and a variety of ‘extreme’ muddy /ad- venture-type races.
John Jales, our head coach (National Level 3), and Rob Deane, our UKA-qualified coaching coordinator, are happy to provide training plans for members preparing to tackle a wide range of distances, from 5km to the marathon. Our weekly training sessions on the track, road and footpaths around Dacorum are often tailored to preparation for upcoming races, and members also meet regularly on weekends in Ashridge for longer off-road sessions of eight to 12 miles (and sometimes more!)
We have a growing group of triathlon and duathlon enthusiasts as well. A large group of members did their first multisport events in 2016, and many more took on the challenge in 2017 – with a number of them qualifying to represent GB at European and World age group championships. We frequently meet for group swim and water-running sessions in the evenings and weekends, as well as group cycles of distances from 25 miles upwards on the weekends.
There’s something for everyone at Dacorum AC Road Runners – come along and see for yourself.
Everyone is welcome!
For more information, please don’t hesitate to email us through our contacts page or send an email to the relevant club committee member.
The Road Running group trains every Tuesday and Thursday from 7pm to 8pm. We meet at the Jarman Park athletics track clubhouse from 6.30pm onwards for a 7pm start. There is ample parking at Jarman Park, and runners are able to leave their bags and kit safely in the clubhouse. Showers, tea, coffee, sweets and a friendly chat with fellow runners are all on hand afterwards!
Each club night we offer several different groups, based on speed, training and the number of runners in attendance. In the summer months, we try to stay off-road as much as possible, keeping to the wonderful footpaths and trails of Hemel, Apsley, Kings Langley and Leverstock Green. You’ll be amazed at how many fantastic running routes there are in the area, and how much parkland and countryside we’re able to access, only a mile or two from the clubhouse.
In the winter months, we stick to well-lit roads ands paths, and stay in large groups – safety is paramount. And for fun, we do a head torch run once every month or six weeks, returning to our well-trodden footpaths for a bit of fun. Watch out for the infamous Cow Run – bound to make you run a personal best!
We also train on the track once a month year-round. All our members, from our experienced marathoners to our newest runners, will tell you that these sessions are, for better or for worse, very beneficial to those wanting to improve their stamina, times and style. We also have a lot of fun on these sessions, often doing relays or games to keep us going, and then it’s back to the clubhouse for a cup of tea.
Each session is tailored with all our athletes in mind. A typical Tuesday night, when we do ‘speed training’, may involve either a track session, a hill training session, a parlauf run or timed reps on the canal towpath, for example, and every runner, of all levels, is catered for and looked after. Thursday nights tend to be longer, steady runs: Group 1 (A & B) will do up to 7-8 miles, Group 2 (A, B & C) will do 5-7 miles; Group 3 will do up to 6 miles at approximately 9-10 minute miles and Group for will do up to 4 miles. Each group has at least one group leader, and no one gets left behind.
Here is a guide to the paces for each group on Thursday training nights:
In addition to training together, we regularly compete in a number of events, ranging from the 15 athletes who ran the Virgin London marathon in 2014 to group weekends away, to run in events such as the gruelling but brilliantly fun Exe to Axe fell running marathon in Devon to the Spitfire Scramble 24-hour marathon relay and the Bournemouth Running Festival. We also get together on a regular basis to run our local Parkrun in St Albans, and for the notorious Ivinghoe Beacon run on weekend mornings.
Come down and try us out – you won’t be disappointed!