CHARD Crew Running Club held their first ‘Couch 2 5K’ event on Monday, and enjoyed a fine turnout.

The club is a very new one, having only started four months ago, as member Lucy Hodson explains.

She said: “Since then, we’ve been getting affiliated to the Association of Running Clubs, and spent two to three months planning the C25K, getting everything in place, and people to maintain the course and help out.”

The first of nine sessions took place on Monday, and went down a treat.

“Around 40 people turned up, which is unbelievable, as we were expecting half that,” Hodson said.

“Everyone was in high spirits, with the attitude of ‘we’re going to do this’, which is half the battle.”

The nine-week programme continues each Monday, and Hodson added: “We start slowly to build up fitness using the NHS programme, with one minute of running and 90 seconds’ walking for recovery.

“As we progress, we’ll do a bit more running each week, until we end the nine weeks with a 5k run.”

In the longer term, the club is looking to enter more charity runs and local events like the Combe 5k and Chard Chaser.

They meet twice a week – on Tuesdays and Thursdays – at 6.45pm in the Tesco car park in Chard.


THE first race for the weekend was the White Star Running Dark Moors 10-Mile Forest trail race, and Chard Road Runners’ sole runner in this event was Paul Masters.

With the race heading out into the Moors Valley Country Park, Ringwood, at 6.30pm it was headtorch capital from the off, with more than 350 runners heading out onto the forest trails. 

Masters made a steady start from mid-pack, and as the route opened up he started pushing to make progress through the field.

The two-lap race opened out further on the second lap, and knowledge of the route and where the mud was made for faster going.

At the final turn off the trail, Masters was in a small group that allowed for a fast-paced finish, crossing the line in 1h 17m 07s (43rd/356) and first in his age category.

The next race for CRRs was the Sunday Morning Axmouth Challenge, a 10-mile mix of road track and field running with big hills living up to the challenge in the name.

Running for the Chard club were Andrew Leeson, Matt Baker and Addie Douglass, and it was not long before Leeson was starting to make some headway through the pack.

As the route changed from lanes into the muddy fields, Baker showed his pace over the tricky ground, while Addie Douglass – coming back from injury – was getting back into her stride.

Onto the last mile of the route, there was a big downhill first via a muddy field, and a narrow stile exit at the bottom, which made for many laughs as runners tried to slow down.

Back into the village of Axmouth, first crossing the line for CRRs was Leeson (1:08:43, 8th/100), ahead of Baker (1:26:34, 69th/100) and Douglass (1:36:10, 82nd/100).

The final race was the five-mile Axmouth Challenge, taking in most of the first half of the first race, but with more hills. 

Gary Wheaton represented CRRs and was off to a good start up the hill, before the very muddy field where the going was more like ice skating.

Heading down into the village in a very tight pack of runners, Wheaton pushed hard and stepped clear to cross the line in 58:57 and eighth place.