jogscotland Bridge of Don celebrated its 10 year anniversary in January this year and Dave Barclay remembers a modest beginning but steady growth over the years to a current membership of 100.
Dave told scottishrunningguide.com about a decade of progress, achievement and fun: "Our group started on 6 January 2004 and was one of the first in the Aberdeen area. It was a result of Raymond and Margaret Simpson’s inspiration. There were only six joggers in the group for the first few weeks of which five still run on a regular basis. However, the numbers rose to about 12 by the end of the first 10 week block.
"We all took part in our first race as a group, doing the Baker Hughes 10K in May 2004. This was a first race experience for several of the group and from then, many of our members have taken part in a variety of race distances including marathons and ultras. Our runners compete in races in the Aberdeen area and as far away as Dubai.
"The philosophy of the group is to follow the jogscotland programmes, which increases new runners’ abilities over a period of time. They appreciate what they have achieved at the end of each block, and without the coaches’ support, encouragement and good nature, they may not have completed it. As the number of joggers and coaches has increased over the years to a membership of about 100, we are now able to offer several training programmes on each of the two nights per week. We cover all the stages of the adopted training programmes and cater for joggers who want to consistently do a more advanced level - including a group who will cover about 7 miles in an hour.
"Our coaching philosophy is to support, be friendly, helpful and have a great sense of humour - we have a lot of fun and lots of laughs. Encouragement of all the members during each running night and when taking part in various events is important. This gives them confidence and motivation to develop and improve (and run in all weathers!).
"Over the years we have also contributed generously to several local charities including CLAN, Grampian Autistic Society, Aberdeen Mountain Rescue and Befriend a Child."