Common Runners’ 10th anniversary
September 2023 is Common Runners’ 10th anniversary! I can’t believe that it’s been so many years since I started the business, swapping corporate life in the City to the ‘great outdoors’. Common Runners has come a long way and I’m really excited to celebrate this milestone.
Over the years, it has been great to see so many women embrace running, push themselves in training and in races, experience new adventures and meet friends for life. Many women started off hating running but now can’t believe how much running is part of their everyday life.
Many runners have been with me from the start and I’m so grateful for all the support that you’ve given me over the past 10 years. When I set up Common Runners in 2013, I thought that it might be a side-line job rather than a full time one!
- Starting Common Runners: starting the business was a leap of faith! I’d been a freelance marketeer for nearly 10 years and didn’t really know if spending time outdoors in all weathers was going to be for me! I loved running and when I drove up to Wimbledon Common to take our first training class, I knew that I had done the right thing…being outdoors felt great.
- Entering our first race: within a year of starting the business, I persuaded some beginner runners to enter their first 5k race on Wimbledon Common. There was nerves, excitement and finally jubilation when all runners crossed the finish line in under 40 minutes.
- …and two marathons!: to help celebrate my upcoming 50th, I decided to run my first marathon in Brighton in 2015. It was an overwhelming experience and I ended up achieving a good-for-age time with automatic entry to the London Marathon, which I just had to do the following year and it was wonderful.
- Linking up with Secret London Runs: to keep existing runners motivated and to add variety and interest, I decided to link up with Secret London Runs in September 2016. Since then we’ve enjoyed running and learning about Power Women, street art, sex in the city and more!
- Introducing pilates for runners course: to help reduce injuries, tightening of muscles and improve flexibility, I introduced our first pilates for runners course in January 2017. The course has proved popular with Common Runners and is sold out every term.
- Celebrating International Women’s Day: to help celebrate this special day in March 2017, Mara Yamauchi, an elite marathon runner, joined our weekly social run and a Q&A session over coffee. Despite the rain, we were delighted and inspired by such a wonderful athlete.
- S&C training for all: by September 2018, strength & conditioning training was on offer to all Common Runners. Many runners had never used a gym before and they were initially reluctant to come, but over the past few years, the numbers have grown and each course is now over-subscribed.
- Embracing the trails: linking up with She Runs Outdoors, our first trail run in Dorking in February 2020 was a great success. It was challenging but achievable and wonderful to get out into the countryside and enjoy the trails.
- Surviving Covid: it may seem like a long time ago, but making a living during that period was difficult. I lost all of my income overnight, and I had no idea if I would still have a business at the end of it all. But I was surprised how resilient Common Runners was and we came out of it okay. Since then the business has gone from strength to strength.
- Finding adventures together: post Covid, we’ve been enjoying one adventure after another through running which has been wonderful. There’s been numerous London runs (Hampstead Heath, Royal Parks), track sessions, our first weekend retreat in Dorset in September 2022 and our first one-day retreat in September 2023!
The past 10 years have been a great adventure, and I’m looking forward to the next 10! For more information about Common Runners please contact Caroline on 07810 486286 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.