[Action from a road relay event]

What is Road Running?

Road Running is long distance running over firm surfaces, usually tarmac though many events take place on footpaths and cycleways. Road running can be done at any time of the year, though much is usually done between September and May.

How do I get involved?

Either find a road running event and go along, or get along to your local club - Mendip Athletic Club - who have a large junior running section which does distance running throughout the year.

Are there any races I can do?

Yes. A growing number of local events are staging special races for younger children. Several examples are the Glastonbury Road Runs (May), Baltensborough Fun Run (), and the Victoria Park Races in Bath (November). There is also monthly race series in Street with races for under 11s and under 16s. These take place from the United Reform Church on the High Street at 7.00pm on the SECOND WEDNESDAY of ech month between SEPTEMBER and MARCH.

What kit do I need?

As Road Running takes place outdoors, sometimes in the winter, you should make sure you have something WARM and WATERPROOF. For running races you will probably be more comfortable in SHORTS and a T-SHIRT, together with a comfortable pair of ordinary TRAINERS. Don't forget to bring something to drink as you will probably get thirsty with all that running about!

Note to Parents / Teachers

Several sources, particularly the English Schools Athletic Association, recommend against children getting involved in Road Running due to concerns over damage to growing joints caused by pounding on hard surfaces. This view is probably over-cautious, and based on children attempting long distance running on the roads. Road running for youngsters can be safe, but there are some guidelines that should be followed:
  • dont let your child run in races intended for adults - there are many events with races specifically for children, in general under 11's should not run more than about a mile on the roads
  • do ensure that your child does most of their running on soft surfaces such as grass
  • watch out for your child complaining of sore shins, this is often the first sign of too much activity on hard surfaces (and can also be caused by playing football in the street!)