Beginners Welcome

Our motto: ‘no one gets left behind’

Elswick Harriers have a dedicated beginners and improvers group, nicknamed “The Bunnies” lead by England Athletics registered Run Leaders and Coaches. 

To join we only ask that you can jog or run 3 miles (or 5k) comfortably, which is the same distance as the popular Park Run series. A well developed sense of humour, patience and a willingness to explore new experiences are crucial.

We welcome runners wishing to build their confidence and ability before joining the official EH training sessions, or those who prefer to do regular group runs. Recent new members have progressed from our own C25k programme, Park Runs or informal local running groups.

We meet in the Newburn Activity Centre sports hall on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7 pm for a pre-arranged 7.15 to 7.30 pm start. Groups usually run from three to to five miles which can take up to an hour. Training is completed in all weathers, all year around and is very rarely cancelled. Newburn Activity Centre provides ample car parking, changing, showers and lockers. Street lighting in the area is very sparse so torches and hi-viz clothing are compusory for all, during the darker nights.

The current group total is now over 80, so training activities are usually divided into three smaller groups covering different distances and paced to suit individual capabilities. Coached sessions are also available to work on strength and core fitness. Our location gives ample opportunity to train on/off road in the beautiful Tyne Riverside Country Park and Tynedale, throughout the year.

Over the summer, we enjoy “Away Days”, frequently meeting at other venues, for runs along country roads or trails. Routes have included Chopwell Woods, Watergate, Weetslade, the Spetchells and the Derwent Walk. Bunny groups also regularly tour the North East’s many Park Runs. We also meet on a Saturday or Sunday morning for a “Magical Mystery Tour” or “Auntie Tina’s Travels” , a longer run further afield, which can take one and a half to two hours.

This is particularly beneficial for those seeking running company in building up the miles for an HM or Marathon event. Members also enjoy our monthly handicap events at 1M and 5k (road and trail) distances, measuring their improving fitness.

The group is very friendly and inclusive. Our regular social nights out have become legendary. You can run to train to enter races, to keep fit, lose a few pounds or just for the company and motivation. 

Members of group say that joining a running group means that they run more often and that they achieve more than they could have done on their own. Most members compete in local races, covering all distances and terrains from 5K and eventually to marathons and beyond, although it is not compulsory to do so.  In 2019, the Bunnies completed an amazing 503 finishes in 136 events including many “firsts” from people who never thought it possible. Others prefer just to gain personal confidence, meet new people and enjoy the outdoors.

The Bunnies provide a wide variety of opportunities for everyone. If you run, you are a runner. Choose your own options from the several available. Learn to enjoy the physical and mental benefits of regular exercise with like minded people.

Below is our 2020 planned summer events:

Tuesday Thursday
May 5th –  Away Day /1


7th – Club 3k Handicap
12th 14th
19th – 5k Trail Handicap/1 21st  – Gibside Trail 10k
27th 28th
Jun 2nd   4th – Away Day/2

Wylam > Prudhoe + Boathouse

9th – Blaydon Race + Black Bull 11th
16th 18th –  5k Trail Handicap/2
23rd – Away Day/3

Chopwell Woods

Jul 2nd – Watergate Trail 10k
7th –  Bridges of the Tyne 5M 9th – Away Day/1 Derwent Walk

Sunderland 5k (Q)

14th – 5k Trail Handicap/3 16th
21st 23rd
28th – Away Day/5

Wylam > Clara Vale + Boathouse

Aug 4th 6th
11th 13th- 5k Trail Handicap/Final
18th – Away Day/6

Weetslade + Mimi’s Ice Cream Parlour

25th 27th
Sep 1st 3rd-  Away Day/7 ??

Sunset @ 2014