Get running with Penrhyn Castle Beginner Running Group – part of the Let the Outdoors Move You programme by National Trust
By Amy Underwood Thompson, Penrhyn Castle Events Assistant – March 2016
Penrhyn Castle is a nineteenth century fantasy castle with spectacular surroundings of mountains and coastline. It is a great backdrop for people to get active outdoors and an ideal space for running. Since 2014 there has been a Penrhyn parkrun through the garden and woodland every Saturday. However, we wondered whether the fresh air and lovely views could also inspire non-runners and beginners to become active too…
So on Sunday 7th February 2016 we launched our first Beginner Running Group, a free 8 week programme to take people up to a 5km distance, led by a team of two friendly volunteer Run Leaders. The sessions take place in the morning, before the castle is open to the general public to ensure a quiet and relaxed atmosphere – behind closed doors but in the great outdoors.
We are now half way through the programme and delighted to have a core group of over 20 people each week, come rain or shine! We think this is due to a mix of location, friendly and encouraging leadership from our Run Leaders, midweek support through the group’s closed Facebook page and a community spirit, but thought we better ask our beginner runners to make sure…
Gwenan Hughes (who has come to 4 out of the 5 sessions so far) was happy for her Q&A to be shared with you all:
What made you choose to join an outdoor running group?
So it would help with me with motivation, meet new people and Penrhyn Castle is a lovely setting.
What keeps you coming back each week (fingers crossed!)?
Everyone is friendly, there’s no pressure about fitness level, speed etc. and again the lovely setting outdoors.
Is there anything you want to share with those thinking about joining a beginner running group programme?
That running does make you feel better! And doing the two midweek runs is important also.*
Anything else you want to add?
No, just thank you for starting the group and that I really enjoy going. We should start a 5k to 10k after this! Ha!
*Our programme has some homework!
Our programme will finish with the group completing a celebratory Penrhyn parkrun on Easter Saturday. After this we plan to look at running (no pun intended!) further beginner programmes and / or – as Gwenan suggested – an improvers group.