BEARCAT SUNDAY MORNINGS
We meet every Sunday morning in readiness for club announcements at 8.30am with training sessions to start immediately after.
Our ‘home’ and usual meeting place is The Turk's Head on Winchester Road in St Margaret’s. Our training sessions are usually one hour and are organised across 9 different ability groups each with a leader.
We have at least two from our team on duty no later than 8.00am. They oversee the signing in of all attendees that day, ensuring all are allocated to one of the nine differing ability groups. They also make sure that anyone attending the club for the first time is particularly welcomed and that an interim disclaimer form is completed by anyone attending on a trial basis.
We encourage arrival by 8.20am - or ideally 8:10am if attending for the first time.
Afterwards there is the option to stay for a while to socialise with free tea and coffee kindly provided by the Turks Head.
From time to time, often in July/August and November, we vacate the pub and meet in Bushy Park or Richmond Park. These variations are notified well in advance and are shown on the Sunday Training Schedule and notified in the weekly email and on our Facebook page.
One of the key aims of the club is to help all members push themselves, whether that’s to achieve a faster time or complete a longer distance. This ambition extends to all ability groups. We are equally excited to celebrate those completing their first 5km and 10km events as those reaching their first Marathon finish line.
Many club members take part in a wide range of running events throughout the year, from weekly parkruns to race events covering all distances up to Marathon distance, and even the occasional Ultra. We encourage all who are happy to do so to share their experience, whether that is within an organised talk after a Sunday session or just by being open to help those seeking advice.
Sunday mornings with the Bearcats serve as a great place for plans to be hatched. For many events we nominate a captain to promote and encourage as much Bearcat participation as possible.
Particular events are earmarked by the club as opportunities to push the boundaries of our normal running comfort zones, whether that’s to go a bit further in distance or a bit faster. Every year this includes the the Turk's Head 10K and the Cabbage Patch 10, a ten mile event organised by the Stragglers. The club is closed on the day of each of these events, as most members are either running or marshalling.
On occasion we have arranged a coach trip to a major event and we are looking to do this on at least an annual basis. Past events have included the Great South Run in Portsmouth, Brighton Marathon and 10K and the Grand Union Canal Half Marathon.
COUCH TO 5K
We aim to run at least one six week Couch to 5K programme every year, as we look to encourage more people to take up running and join the Bearcat community.
The programme is free to newcomers to the club but, on completion, we hope that the experience of running with us will follow through to club membership.
Each programme is overseen by one or two leaders with other leaders supporting through the weeks to inspire and support the participants. The programme involves an organised session every Sunday morning, when the club meets, plus guidance on ‘homework’ to be undertaken through the week.
Advice and support is facilitated through a WhatsApp group administrated by the overseeing leaders, with participants often using this to arrange their own meet-ups between the Sunday sessions to do their homework together.
We aim for graduation at the end of the programme to involve all members of the group, along with many other Bearcats, coming together to take part in one of the Saturday morning Parkrun events in the local area.