Running Clubs In Central Scotland And Fife

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Fife AC Group PhotoClub Focus On Fife AC

We spoke to Graham Bennison of Fife AC about life at one of Scotland’s biggest running clubs...

Who are Fife AC?
Fife AC was formed in 1972 following the amalgamation of Cupar and District AC and Glenrothes AC. In 1987, Fife Southern Harriers also joined. The aim of the club is to promote all aspects of athletics - track and field, road, cross country, trail, ultra and hill running. It’s also worth nothing that no other club in Britain puts on as many events as we do - just last year we organised 42 races. The key word to describe Fife AC is variety.

Andrew LemoncelloWho can join?
We cater for runners and athletes of all ages and abilities: from complete beginner, to recreational runners to Olympian athletes. Our most famous current member is Andrew Lemoncello (pictured) who came second at last year’s Great Edinburgh Run and is regularly competing in events around the world as he chases a place at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Although he’s now based in Arizona, Andrew is still very much a member of the club and comes back regularly to see everyone. When he’s back he enjoys training at West Sands and St Andrews and we’re always happy to see him. Going back further we had people like Don MacGregor who ran at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, and Terry Mitchell who, as well as featuring as one of the runners in Chariots of Fire, also won the Scottish Marathon Championships twice.

One to watch?
We have a young member called Halina Rees who we’re very excited about. She’s a woman of many talents as, on top if being a great steeplechaser, she is also a UK ranked 300/400m hurdler as well as doing hill racing, trail running, and cross country.

Your most popular races?
One of our biggest races is the Devil’s Burden’s Relay which took place on 9 February this year. 600 runners take part and, combined with the spectators, there’s roughly 1000 people at it. It involves 6 person teams and is a 4-stage relay. Other big races are the Cupar 5, and our Five Day Tour of Fife.  The Tour of Fife is limited in numbers as it’s an aggregate event and it fills up within 24 hours so you have to be quick.

What’s the social life like?
The social side can be difficult due to the size of the club and the fact we don’t have one centre. We have training groups in Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes, Cupar, Wormit and St Andrews, so it’s quite spread out. That’s why fellow member Dave Francis and I decided to organise midweek races. They give people a chance to get together, enjoy the race and have a good chat afterwards. We were one of the first clubs to start putting on teas and cakes after our races, so that certainly helps encourage people to socialise.

Hopes for the future?
Our plans for the future are already being put into place. We have over 300 members and the plan is to have an overhaul in the structure of the club. So instead of having one big committee, we’re going to have a smaller committee with a host of sub-committees. We’re devolving power basically. We’re also working hard developing our website which has recently changed address to www.fifeac.org. The digital side of things is very important for the club and our forum is very active due to the sheer volume of races we organise.

Other Clubs in Central Scotland and Fife

Fife

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