Running Groups In Central Scotland and Fife
Group Focus On Briarlands Farm jogscotland
Mandy Beer is duty manager and jogscotland leader at Briarlands Farm in Stirling. As a marathon runner and member of Stirling Triathlon group, she started the group in January this year to encourage people in the area to get more involved with running. She spoke to us about her plans...
"I started Briarlands Farm with the aim of encouraging kids to be active and to provide a place for families to come and enjoy themselves. The group just seemed like a natural progression as it allows adults to get involved. I’ve been a runner for several years now and hope I can pass on my knowledge to those just starting out. As the group is brand new, there’s definitely a great opportunity to grow the group further so I’d encourage anyone in the area to give it a try."
Mandy (pictured) leads two different groups – beginners, and improvers - and there is also a children’s fitness class on Fridays. The beginners meet on a Monday at 10am, then Mandy leads the improvers at 11am. She discussed how the first sessions have gone: "I’ve been encouraged by the response so far. At the moment it’s mainly mums who have joined, but it’s open to everyone. A lot of them drop the kids off at nursery then come to the farm for a jog. We do about a mile with the beginners and three miles with the improvers.
"We meet at the tearoom which is a great location, then we head along the country road. One of the things I love about this part of the world is the great views you get, it’s so scenic and a wonderful place to run."
As members of the group look to improve, they have set themselves a target of entering a race this year. Mandy explained: "A lot of the beginners are training to do Cancer Research UK’s 5K Race for Life in Stirling, and my improvers are looking at doing a 10k. We’re a friendly bunch and after the runs I invite people back to the tearoom for some food and refreshments. There are healthy options too so it isn’t something you need to feel guilty about doing."
Although they have only been running for a short time, Mandy has already seen an improvement in some of her members, saying: "One member, Gail, from the beginners class told me she was a complete novice but her performances have really impressed me. She’s looking towards the 5k race and has told me she’s determined to run the whole thing. I love that attitude, it’s really inspiring.
"In the improvers group there are a few ladies who are really pushing themselves. They tell me they’re annoyed if they don’t get the time they’re wanting and they’re just very focused on improving their running."
With such a positive response in the group’s initial period, Mandy hopes bigger things are on the horizon: "I’d like to expand the group and I’d also like to get Jog Scotty, the jogscotland mascot, along to the kids class. I had him along for a fun run I organised once and the children loved him. I’d like to hold a juniors group too for older children.
We just want to make visiting Briarlands Farm an enjoyable experience and the running groups are a big part of that. It’s a beautiful area for running, it’s about time someone utilised it."
jogscotland groups in Stirling, Clackmannanshire and Fife
- Bridge of Allan
- King’s Park
- Peak Stirling
- Riverside Park
- Stirling University
- Grangemouth Stadium
- Larbert High School
- New Leaf Jogging Group
- St Andrews