Go for a stroll in your local park, chances are there’ll be someone out running. Nowadays it’s a common occurrence. Are we experiencing a running boom, and if so why? Harry Trend investigates.

Is the possible increase in participation in recreational running, which some have coined “the running boom,” due to the emergence of running events such as parkrun? In 2018, 414,618 people applied for the London Marathon, the most popular marathon in the world.[i]

Or maybe it’s the running clubs, the pillar of recreational running? From 2008 to 2015, UK running clubs experienced a 49% increase in membership. That’s an increase of 56,270 people. [ii]

Could it be the new generation? Are parents and teachers getting the importance of fitness across to the youth of today and making running exciting? In year six of primary school in the last academic year, there were 10,000 more severely obese school children compared to 2006-07.[iii]

Or is there even a “running boom” to talk of? In this digital age, 40% of Britons spend a maximum of 15 minutes outdoors every day excluding a work commute.[iv] That’s less than ever before.

When looking at the growth in recreational running, it’s impossible to ignore the footprint of “parkrun,” a free weekly 5K event held on every Saturday morning at in over 500 locations across the UK.

In January 2019, 75,000 people signed up to parkrun, adding to the 3.1 million registrations the organisation ended their fourteenth year with.[v]

The first parkrun took place on 2 October 2004 in Bushy Park under the name BPTT (Bushy Park time trial). Just 13 people ran that day, but since then the event has grown and grown. Parkrun is no longer limited to parks, but areas practical to host a 5K event up and down the UK. For example, Hastings parkrun is held at Hastings promenade.

On a good weekend 235,000 adults and juniors will take part in the 1451 plus parkrun events around the world.[vi] Founder Paul Sinton-Hewitt has estimated that by 2023 there will be 1 million weekly runners and over 10,000 events.[vii]

Why has parkrun become so popular? Nicholas Brown, who set up Hastings parkrun in 2015, believes it’s due to several reasons: “It’s a really friendly environment. Anyone can do it whatever age you are. There are a lot of people that are new to running. They just turn up, jog round and they’ll have a coffee in the pub afterwards. There’s a social element there.”[viii]

Karen Weir, who started Richmond parkrun in Surrey, described parkrun as the ‘new church.’[ix] It’s an outlandish claim, but comparisons can be drawn, it’s a mass meeting of people at a certain time in a welcoming environment. At the start of an event the run director will ask the runners if there are any first timers, and people that do respond are greeted with a cheer by the other runners.

Five thousand metres is a fairly manageable distance for any adult new to running, but why do people choose parkrun over other races as a way into the sport?

“At all parkruns there’s a tail walker, so someone who’s a bit nervous knows that physically they can’t be last. Perhaps that takes the pressure off people,” says Brown.

A tail walker is a volunteer who walks at the back of a parkrun making sure everyone gets around safely.

“The fact that it’s free must make a difference to participation. Most races these days, even if it’s a low-key 5k event, will still cost you £12-15. A bit more than that if you’re looking at a 10K or a half marathon.

“Also, you’re not committing yourself to any particular Saturday unless you’re volunteering. If you wake up and look out the window and think, ‘oh god the weather looks absolutely dreadful, I don’t want to do it’ you don’t have to. You haven’t paid an entry fee.”

The average finishing time of a parkrun is currently at 29:06, a huge increase on the time of 22:16 in 2005, showing an increasing number of beginners at running are taking part.

On a wider scale, parkrun has had a huge effect on increased participation in running. According to Sinton-Hewitt, in the UK alone, the event has driven 100,000 who weren’t previously in clubs into clubs.

Another reason for parkrun’s popularity is the fact that finishing first or achieving a personal best aren’t the only ways in which participants are commended. For example, milestone t-shirts are offered to people who have participated in 50, 100, 200 and 500 events. In the pre-run briefing, these milestones are celebrated with a round of applause. As parkrun is so popular in the UK running community, these shirts can be the spark to ignite a conversation among unfamiliar runners.

Accompanying the parkrun results is an age-graded percentage. This is done by taking the finishing time and grading it against the world record time in one’s sex and age group. This way, older runners who might not be able to match their previous times have something to aim for.

Brown, who also is one of the head coaches at Hastings Runners, has seen the effect first hand on the increasing numbers joining his club since the advent of Hastings parkrun.

“I would say a third of the clubs’ current members have come through parkrun, and that’s just in the space of three years. Say we looked at that statistic in two years’ time, five years after Hastings parkrun started, I reckon half the membership would’ve come through parkrun.”

“Once you start running it can be quite addictive, particularly running with friends. I think it’s natural once you’re happy with how you’re doing at parkrun to join a club.”

In 2018, the Guardian estimated about 8,000 runners a year joined a running club after starting parkrun. To take the average membership of £40, that’s £320,000 being pumped into grassroots running every year. It seems parkrun is the catalyst to get a significant number of people into running. Brown worked out the impact of parkrun on Hastings:

“In the first two years of parkrun here 2000 local people registered in Hastings and I’d say probably three-quarters of them had never run before. Certainly, it’s improved the fitness per head of population. As an event director you can see where all your parkrunners are based; the demographic is overwhelmingly within a two or three-mile radius of Grosvenor Gardens, the start line of our event.

“It’s a very friendly welcoming environment, you can see that it’s all-inclusive because age wise it covers kids at five and six that are running with their parents, right up to the Master Relay Runners we have at Hastings. It’s right across the spectrum. You’ll see for example yesterday, Mo Farah’s training partner Adam Clarke, getting around in 14 minutes.[x] In the same event, people were getting around in 45 minutes, and feeling delighted just to complete it. Parkrun has just struck a chord with the British public.”

Sport England have also appreciated the positive impact parkrun has had on recreational running, in December 2018 they announced a £3 million-pound investment, with particular focus on people from lower socio-economic groups and women.[xi]

On the investment, parkrun chief executive Tim Hollingsworth said, “The funding – which is only possible thanks to National Lottery players – will enable parkrun to reach females and people on a low income. These people are less likely to be active than the general population.”

Some would think that parkrun would be the envy of race organisers, with runners potentially choosing the free 5k event over one which you pay to enter. However, Liam Burke, manager at Nice Work, a running events company, has welcomed it: “We actively support parkrun, especially our local ones: Hastings, Ashford and Bedgebury. Obviously, they’re getting new runners into the sport in an area where they feel comfortable. Those runners will eventually progress from a parkrun to a 5K where they get a medal at the end, then they’ll go to 10k and move onto the next challenge.

“It’s very good for getting people into the sport in a safe environment where they feel comfortable, whereas they might be a little intimidated by the race scene as it were. Parkrun is good for new runners to work their way up the racing pyramid.” [xii]

Nice Work, started in 1989 in Rye originally as an events company, but in 2005 Martin Burke, father of Liam, decided to start organising running races. Nowadays the company solely focuses on running.

The first race the company organised took place in the small village of Beckley. In the first year they hosted just one race, then the next year it was it three, then it was five, now thirteen years later Nice Work organise just over 200 races a year. Most races take place in London and the South East because of the demand.

“Of course, there’s a lot of people in London so if you put an event on there you can normally guarantee getting 300-400 runners. We also do events in the East Midlands which sell out, we get 700-800 without fail. The East Midlands is quite a growing area along with East Anglia, where events are going from 200-300 up to 600-700.”

Thanks to the advent of social media Nice Work not only advertise races on their website, but their Twitter and Facebook pages, the latter of which has over 6500 likes. These races can be shared by running group and club pages, thus creating a domino effect.

Also, a new trend of making medals as imaginative as possible has surfaced due to running specific hashtags such as ‘#MEDALMONDAY’ on Twitter. Liam designs the medals for Nice Work, which can sometimes be the sole reason for somebody to enter a race. For example, the finishers medal for the London Spitfire 10K, a race around an airfield, often comes in the shape of the plane and is highly sought after.

Liam is adamant that the success of Nice Work has correlated with the “running boom,” a phenomenon which he believes coincided with the 2012 London Olympics: “I would 100% percent say we are experiencing a running boom at the moment which has been fuelled by London 2012. You can’t forget the combination of major championships such as the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games which gives people so much inspiration.

“You can see 2012 is where that running boom started and it’s not slowing down either which is quite impressive.”

Running clubs play a huge part in recreational running. At a recreational level, joining a running club is merely the next rung of the ladder after becoming familiar with the sport.

Pete Baker, a coach at Hastings AC, thinks that the social aspect is a big reason for people joining clubs: “Some people don’t like running on their own because it’s relatively solitary. [xiii]

“There’s also desire to improve performance and a belief that there’s some sort of magic formula coaches have got.”

Lee Collier-Williams, who runs with Baffins Fit Club in Portsmouth is also an advocate of joining a club: “It’s great socially, everyone supports each other. You can share tips on the sport and ask questions. There’s always someone you can run with or pace you. I loved my running club so much that I eventually became a coach. Joining a club is the best thing I’ve done for my running.”[xiv]

The opportunity to partake in an activity which develops both social skills and general fitness is one many grasp.

Dean Hardman, a running blogger for the Guardian, mirrors this opinion: “Deciding to join a club is one of the best things that any runner, whatever their level, can do. Club membership can often instigate big improvements in performance and, more importantly, provide enduring memories, experiences and companionship.”[xv]

On the other hand, Sport England reduced its funding to England Athletics from £17.2 million in 2017/18 to £7.9 million for 2018/19.[xvi] This meant a widespread increase in the prices of club membership which is bound to put some off joining.

Also, an article in Men’s Running published in 2016 stated that running clubs were on the decline. Serpentine, one of the largest running groups in the UK, saw membership fall from 2,400 in 2006 to 1,800 in 2015.[xvii]

“Normal, everyday life has changed massively, and this has had a huge effect on families, so I think a more flexible regime has become important,” said Steve Edwards, a marathoner.

“On top of that, it’s clear that more people run to work or during their lunch hours or in the gym – things that didn’t really happen even a generation ago.”

In this era of social media, runners can be part of an online running club on Facebook without ever meeting anyone else in the club face to face. One of such pages is “The Running Bible,” a page which has amassed over 39,000 likes.

On this page, the administrator might post something like: ‘Who raced this weekend? How did you get on?’ Group members will subsequently post race photos and congratulate each other, just like a normal running club would meeting at for a social run.

Strava might be another reason for the decline of running club memberships. The social networking app, which adds a million new users every forty days,[xviii] allows people to compare running times and records for routes. This could be an incentive for people to train on their own. This way people are running against people digitally and can fit their exercise into a more flexible regime.

For many, running is a very personal activity, someone’s battle against their own mind. John McAvoy, a Nike sponsored triathlete, famously trains alone. McAvoy believes that dealing with boredom and making up coping strategies is one of the challenges that comes with running.

“Technology has given people that choice and some have welcomed it as it means they’re not tied to specific training nights or times” says Edwards.

Jeff Pyrah, British Masters Trail Champion and founder and coach of Rye Runners, believes one of the repellents to joining a club is the competitive element, with people feeling they’re being forced to meet a certain target at races in order to benefit the club. This is something Pyrah says his club try to steer away from:[xix]

“We started the Rye Runners partly because there wasn’t a running club in Rye, and partly because we felt running clubs don’t cater for everyone. If you’re not really interested in performance, they don’t really fit.

“We coach sessions and devise them in a way which is very much accessible to all sorts of people, people who haven’t run before or for a very long time. The focus is very much on helping them get fit and enjoy it and create a running habit.

“I think this way they find it less intimidating. They’re not judged because although some of them do races that’s not something we’re particularly asking them to do. Some people come and run once a week, some people do more, some get into it and want to do races. We do all of the sessions by time, therefore everyone’s doing the same thing, you don’t feel like you’re being left behind.”

Nonetheless, coaching the club isn’t the only work Pyrah does with the sport. The veteran runner organises running holidays with his wife Sam in Rye as well as ten-week fitness courses with the help of Rother Active. However, Pyrah and his wife are now becoming less dependent on Rother Active thanks to the money generated through these sessions.

It’s schemes like this which will continue to get people into the sport and eventually into clubs, however expensive the membership is.

The school cross country race is something that most dreaded. Some would try anything to get out of it. However, with childhood obesity on the rise, events like these are becoming more important than ever. Currently, one in five children starting primary school are obese.[xx]

Running clubs and race organisers should be playing their part in trying to stop this epidemic, and to some extent they are.

But a lot of the burden falls on teachers and other school staff who see children on a day-to-day basis. Elaine Wyllie, a headteacher at a St Ninians primary school in Scotland, set up the “Daily Mile” in 2012 after concerns over the fitness of her students. Pupils get 15 minutes, the average time it takes a child to do a mile, to run around a school playground or field.[xxi]  This time isn’t counted as part of breaktime or lunchtime.

The scheme has now spread to more than 3600 schools in 30 countries, although Education Secretary John Swinney has said there are no plans to make it compulsory for every school in the UK.

A big reason why the scheme has grown so quickly is the endorsement from athletes and celebrities, the likes of Iwan Thomas, Chloe Lewis and Nicola Hughes have all visited schools to promote the Daily Mile. Implementation partners include the NHS in Scotland and Wales as well as Athletics Ireland.[xxii]

Perhaps the biggest obstacle Wylie had to get over when creating the Daily Mile was making it appeal to schoolchildren: “It has been really well supported, and it would have to be, you could never keep this going against the wishes of the children, the parents and the staff.[xxiii]

“Essentially, we don’t over-complicate it. We just go out and run, then get back to class and carry on. It is completely inclusive. We have one or two children with mobility difficulties and they still do it.”

But while the “Daily Mile” is proven to have reduced obesity in the schools that participate, there’s no evidence that it has increased participation in running as a sport.

A recent survey[xxiv] found that running ranks in neither boys or girls of school ages top ten sports to play outside school. So how can the sport be more appealing to children?

“I like to give a variety of sessions when we get the children to run” says Rhys William, a secondary school PE teacher who organises an after-school cross country club.[xxv]

“You need variety to give the children enjoyment. If it’s consistently the same, they’re going to start getting bored, the students need to see they’re progressing. I do my cross-country club on a six-week cycle, so they repeat the sessions but every few sessions the distance increases slightly.

“It’s actually become one of the most successful new clubs in our school. We have at least 10 students a week but that’s increasing. I know loads of students, as young as five and six, who are doing more running now because of it and initiatives like Junior parkrun.”

Junior parkrun started in 2010. The two-kilometre event for children between the ages of 4 and 14 was the brainchild of Paul Graham before it was given the go ahead by parkrun founder Sinton-Hewitt.

Currently there are 269 junior events in the UK. However, younger athletes can make the step up to a full parkrun if they wish to do so, so long as they’re accompanied by an adult.

Another PE lesson pupils dread up and down the country is the bleep test, but with many schools giving physical education a backseat, some are scrapping it all together.[xxvi] However, William sees the benefits of it in his school, not just physically, but mentally: “We do the bleep test regularly. Once the kids know their first bleep test score, when they get to the second bleep test they want to better it, that goes for every single student.

“Those who don’t do any other physical activity get a really big high when I tell them they’ve beaten their level by two or three stages.”

All these schemes for younger runners are clearly making a change, but the likes of the Daily Mile and junior parkrun haven’t been running long enough for their effects to become apparent. On the other hand, Nice Work has been organising races for junior athletes for about fifteen years:

“We’ve seen some runners who’ve done our children’s races go on to become really good runners,” says Burke. “An example is Adam Clarke who did our first ever children’s race, the Rye series, about 13 years ago. Now he pace makes for Mo Farah.”

Most runners under the age of ten will race on the track when they’re younger, with English National races rarely exceeding three kilometres, there’s little incentive for these athletes to be racing high mileages on roads.  From experience, after-school clubs like netball, football, rugby and then tennis and cricket in the summer are all heavily advertised to pupils over road running.

“All our events are licenced by UK Athletics so there’s quite a strict set of guidelines to do with minimum ages for events. 5K minimum age is 11, 15 for 10K, 16 for 10 mile and 17 for half marathon so the younger runners don’t really tend to get into road running until they’re in their 20’s,” Burke elaborated.

“We see a fair number of young runners at 5ks and 10ks but most of our events are 10k to half marathon. Our children’s races often help the parents because it takes the kids away for the afternoon when they’re trying to have a nap after their main 10k race. We get from about 150-200 participants in our children’s races, but it depends on the event and where it is.

“There are a lot of young runners out there, a lot from parkrun and junior parkrun, but most go onto the track rather than on the road.”

With more information about health and wellbeing available, more and more people are starting to take up running in later life. According to a recent study by Strava on adult runners, the 40-49 age group run most frequently, while the 18-29 age group run the least.[xxvii] A surprising statistic maybe when the peak performance age of athletic ability is 26.[xxviii]

Neil Baxter, a Doctoral Researcher at the University of Warwick, has conducted surveys on the subject of barriers to running. In a survey of 2700 former runners, 63% stated that work was the main barrier.[xxix]

Barriers to running

Currently, most people in the UK acquire full-time jobs and start their careers between the ages of 20-25.[i] Many of these people will be coming out of university education, which leaves them with the burden of paying off their student debt. This might lead them to working longer hours and subsequently give them less time to run.

The second biggest barrier was injury, illness or disability. Often, new runners can do too much too soon and end up injuring themselves. As a result, they lose consistency in training and might give up the habit.

Pyrah shares this opinion: “I’ve got a friend who was a brilliant runner when he was about 20 and he just kept getting these injuries that wouldn’t go away. He’s now approaching 45 and just starting to get back into it. Obviously work takes over, families and that sort of thing.”

“Once you’ve fallen off from running it’s difficult to get back. There’s a guy here (at Hastings AC) Mark, who’s a very good runner, got injured in his 20’s and it’s taken him another ten years to get to a stage of his life where he’s willing to start again.”

In his autobiography ‘Twin Ambitions’, Mo Farah, references how some of his competitors in his younger days got injured or “burned out.”[ii]

“My observation is that life takes over when you turn 18,” says Hastings AC coach Pete Baker. “For young people at the ages of 12 and 13, life is relatively straightforward in terms of social commitments.”

“The older you get, relationships come in to play. Obviously, you get other influences like drinking and so on. I think that life takes over, a lot of people give up because they discover partying. If you’re talking about higher level athletes, a lot of them give up because they get injured.”

“Obviously I maintain contact with those people who drop out of the club, my motivation is not about producing runners, but I’m motivated by forming connections with people and friendships as well. I’ve had loads of athletes who’ve dropped out, but it’s what I expect. Whilst I don’t like it when people give up, I certainly accept it.”

Another of Neil Baxter’s tables compared the percentage of runners selecting their main barrier (work, children and study) to participation by age from the ages of 18 to 72. People between the ages of 18-22 put work as their main barrier, then for the ages of 23- 65, people put work. The barriers fluctuated between work and children from the ages of 65-72.

Past the age of 60, the percentage of runners selecting a barrier didn’t rise above 40%. With increased time on their hands, this is an age where some people even take up the sport. A damning statistic to the under 60’s maybe, but also a positive one which shows an ageing British population is becoming more health aware.

Moreover, what about the people who don’t run to start with? In the UK, football and rugby are the sports with the highest participation levels. Athletics doesn’t even make the top ten.[iii]

“I think people think it’s not for them. Lots of our runners say I never thought I’d be doing this and now I really enjoy running,” says Pyrah.

“Some people lack a support network or a group they can’t get their newfound hobby off the ground. You can easily go out for a run then go for another one the next day and just get injured, so I think a barrier is people do too much too soon and then decide they’ve got dodgy knees or something.

“It could be embarrassment about going out on their own or feeling they’re too large to be running, people might make jokes at them. I think there’s a lot of nervousness, and that’s men as well as women. Because we’re a group and we go out together it makes it a lot easier.”

Clare Lippiatt, a volunteer and runner at Hastings parkrun, outlined the unique challenges women face when it comes to running: “There are health challenges related such as racing with a period or the menopause. Family commitments can be challenging as well, I’m in a Facebook group called RunMummyRun where running mums all support each other.”[iv]

Amenorrhea, the medical definition for missed periods due to the body not receiving adequate nutrition, can be onset by exercise, including running. This can be intensified by running more regularly than usual and can lead to low bone density and problems with pregnancy.[v] Amenorrhea was the reason why 2:36 marathoner Tina Muir retired from elite running.[vi]

Lippiatt believes that race organisers can do more to get women into running, adding: “They should show that running is accessible to all women regardless of background, size, race, and age.”

Ultimately, it’s evident that we’re experiencing a running boom in the UK. Thanks to the power of the internet and social media, race organisers can advertise their races and products more effectively. There’s no doubt parkrun has had a positive effect on these organizations too.

People are becoming more health aware, not just physically but mentally. Lacing up your shoes and getting outside for some exercise is now a common prescription from psychologists to those suffering from a psychological condition.

In the words of Pyrah: “Running used to be a weird thing to do but now it’s more respected.” Pyrah paused before adding, “In fact, it’s become fashionable.” It looks like this fashion won’t be turning into a fad anytime soon.

Ends

 

[i] Zetlin M, 2019. What’s the Perfect Age to Start Your Career? It’s Not What You Think, According to a Stanford Psychologist [online] Available at: https://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/laura-carstensen-stanford-psychologist-start-career-at-40-entry-level-retirement-work-life-balance.html [14th January 2019]

[ii] Farah, M. 2013. Mo Farah: Twin Ambitions. 1st ed. Hodder & Stoughton General Division: London

[iii] Misachi, J. 2018. The Most Popular Sports In The United Kingdom [online] Available at: https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/most-popular-sports-in-the-united-kingdom.html [15th January 2019]

[iv] Lippiat C, 2019. Interviewed over email: 30th January 2019 (clare.lippiatt@nhs.net)

[v] Pavey J, 2018. How does your period affect your running performance? [online] Available at:  https://runnersconnect.net/running-and-menstruation/ [Accessed 29th April 2019]

[vi] Muir T, 2019. After 9 Years Without a Period, I’ve Stopped Running [online] Available at: https://www.runnersworld.com/runners-stories/a20853834/after-9-years-without-a-period-ive-stopped-running/ [Accessed 29th April 2019]

[i] Virgin, 2018. World record total of 414,168 applicants for 2019 London Marathon. [online] Available at: https://www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com/en-gb/news-media/latest-news/item/world-record-total-of-414-168-applicants-for-2019-london-marathon/ [Accessed 1st November 2018]

[ii] United Kingdom Athletics, 2015. UKA – An Athletic Nation Strategy. [pdf] Available at: file:///O:/Downloads/UKA%20-%20An%20Athletic%20Nation%20Strategy.pdf [Accessed 12th January 2019]

[iii] Campbell D and Busby M, 2018. Pizzas and other snacks could shrink in bid to cut childhood obesity. [online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/oct/11/record-number-of-10-and-11-year-olds-severely-obese [Accessed 26th November 2018]

[iv] Clarke R, 2018. 40% of Brits spend just 15 minutes outdoors each day. [online] Available at: https://www.hrreview.co.uk/hr-news/strategy-news/40-of-brits-spend-just-15-minutes-outdoors-each-day/111130 [Accessed 14th February 2019]

[v] Pearson N, 2019. @NickPearsonRuns. [online] Available at: https://twitter.com/NickPearsonRuns/status/1091100104751222784 [Accessed 1st February 2019]

[vi] Ingle S, 2018. How Parkrun’s 13 became five million and changed weekends for ever. [online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2018/oct/01/parkrun-five-mlllion-runners [Accessed 13th November 2018]

[vii] Muir T, 2017. Paul Sinton-Hewitt: Are You Part of the Movement? Parkrun is Energizing the World -R4R 018. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viIi5t7SW8I [Accessed 17th October 2018]

[viii] Brown N, 2018. Interviewed over email: 11th November 2018 (frostymooserules@gmail.com)

[ix] Munchin D, 2018. Is Parkrun the new church? [online] Available at: https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2018/12-october/comment/opinion/is-parkrun-the-new-church [Accessed 13th November 2018]

[x] https://www.parkrun.org.uk/hastings/results/weeklyresults/?runSeqNumber=186

[xi] Sport England, 2018. PARTNERSHIP WITH PARKRUN WORTH £3M. [online] Available at: https://www.sportengland.org/news-and-features/news/2018/december/12/sport-england-partner-with-parkrun-for-three-years-with-3-million-investment/ [Accessed 13th December 2018]

[xii] Burke L, 2018. Interviewed over phone and at the Nice Work offices: 20th December 2018 (liam@nice-work.org.uk)

[xiii] Baker P, 2018. Interviewed at the White Rock Theatre: 17th October 2018 (https://www.facebook.com/peter.baker.10)

[xiv] Collier-Williams L, 2018. The Running Bible Community [online] Available at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/147399365813635/ [Accessed 14th November 2018]

[xv] Hardman D, 2013. Should you join a running club or run alone? [online] Available at : https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/the-running-blog/2013/may/08/join-running-club-or-run-alone [Accessed 26th February 2019]

[xvi] Sheffield Running Club, 2017. Increase in 1st claim membership fee from £25 to £35 for 2018/19. [online] Available at: https://www.sheffieldrunningclub.org.uk/increase-in-club-membership-fees-2018-19/ [Accessed 10th November 2018]

[xvii] Mensrunninguk, 2016. RUNNING CLUBS IN DECLINE. [online] Available at: https://mensrunninguk.co.uk/news/running-clubs-decline/ [Accessed 10th November 2018]

[xviii] Craft S, 2018. Strava success: why the app adds a million new users every 40 days. [online] Available at: https://www.intheblack.com/articles/2018/05/01/james-quarles-strava [Accessed 12th  November 2018]

[xix] Pyrah J, 2018. Interviewed: 10th December at ARK William Parker Academy (https://www.facebook.com/jeff.pyrah)

[xx] Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, 2019. About Childhood Obesity. [online] Available at: https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/key-topics/nutrition-obesity/about-childhood-obesity [Accessed 15th November]

[xxi] McIvor J, 2018. Daily Mile ‘significantly improves health’ [online] Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-44053387 [Accessed 15th November 2018]

[xxii] BBC Stories, 2018. Scotland fights child obesity in a simple and effective way – BBC Stories [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0RahcsF4aI [Accessed 10th December 2018]

[xxiii] ITV, 2018. Elaine Wyllie founder of The Daily Mile talks to GMB [online] Available at: http://www.itv.com/feelgood/the-daily-mile/elaine-wyllie-founder-of-the-daily-mile-talks-to-gmb [Accessed 10th December 2018]

[xxiv] Francis J, 2018. These are the most popular sports with boys and girls – and they may surprise you [online] Available at: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/most-popular-sports-boys-girls-12729575 [Accessed 10th December 2018]

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