Grange Farm and Dunmow Runners is a friendly informal running club that welcomes both experienced runners and those wishing to tackle some running for the first time. The club in its current guise was formed in 2004 when two local clubs, grange Farm Trotters and Dunmow Runners, decided to join forces.
Dunmow Runners was formed in 1982 as Dunmow Pheidippides Running Club (named after the fabled Greek messenger who ran from Marathon to Athens to announce victory over Persians in 490 B.C.), but which soon became known as Dunmow Runners. The Club organised the highly successful Dunmow 5 mile Race each summer for many years, and members took part in a variety of races around the UK and also in France and Switzerland. A high spot in their history was holding a 24 hours running challenge which raised a lot of money for local cancer charities.
In 1996, some 14 years after Dunmow Runners was formed, Grange Farm Trotters came about. It was created by a group of friends who went to Grange Farm Fitness Centre and took part in local races, most notably the Dunmow 5, and needed a name. Sponsored by the Fitness Centre, which the club used as a headquarters, it has the facilities to encourage people from all walks of life to discover the joys of running, not just the obvious benefits of health and energy, but also the social side of meeting a new group of like-minded friends. The club grew steadily and became a regular and vocal presence at races throughout the county and further afield, with teams making an annual appearance at the Lanzarote International Running Challenge, the London Marathon and regular UK trips to tackle the joys of fell running in Yorkshire and the Lakes.
Winter training for both clubs coincided on Wednesday nights running on the lit streets of Dunmow. Passers-by must have wondered what was going on with different groups’ pounding the streets, often in opposite directions. It finally dawned on all concerned that this was not a sensible way to go on and since everyone knew each other and shared a common interest, moves began to combine the two clubs. The new combined club formally came into existence in April 2004 and has not looked back since.
The club has around 100 members and holds regular training on Wednesday evenings for all abilities throughout the year and track sessions each Monday. This is supplemented by Friday evening social runs, and trail runs. In addition the club enters teams in the local cross county league and, for a relatively small club, has enjoyed much success in winning both the men’s and the women’s leagues. The club also organises two very successful road races, one trail and one cross country race throughout the year with entrants sometimes exceeding 500, and has hosted both the Essex 10K and 10 mile road running championships.
We are keen to welcome all runners who are currently completing a parkrun or social running and want to be part of a club. The members have a wealth of experience between them in all aspects of running with many having joined us as complete novices. They are always willing to share their knowledge, either during training or tin the pub after a run.
Below are some ‘old’ images we’ve found in our archive – please click a thumbnail to enlarge – if you have any old images from the club’s history you would like to share please get in touch with our Chairman.