Claremont Positive Thoughts Survey Results

Jamie Harding asked us all to think positively and fill in a survey on our favourite things about running and Claremont Road Runners. I think that quite a few missed it as he put it in the same email as his interval session!

Anyway, a big thank you to everyone who took part in the survey and provided some much needed positive thinking. The results, as compiled and presented by Jamie, are shown below.

Favourite Monday Night
The favourite Monday night training session saw a tie for first place with the Kenton Cow and Gosforth Flats each receiving two votes. There was one vote each for the Riverside Route, Ouseburn Trail, The Baltic, Wills and Dene, Two Parks, and Paradise and back.

Favourite Race
In contrast, there was a clear winner for the question on the favourite race, with the Coastal Run gaining three votes. Blyth also proved a popular location, with the Sands and the Links races each getting a vote. There was one vote each for the Blaydon Race, the Town Moor parkrun, the Sunderland half marathon, the Allendale race and the ‘NEMAA Old fogies Relays at Monkton’ (this is a direct quote so I take no responsibility for any offence caused by the wording!).

Why We Like Running
The most commonly identified reason for liking running, or for liking it more than other sports, was the simplicity of organisation – it can be done anywhere, any time, alone or with friends, and with a minimum of kit. Answers that took a slightly different line were:
• More self-satisfying
• Most other runners are very supportive.
• It’s not contrived.
• I like the fact that it’s me pitted against me if you see what I mean
• It enables me to continue my wine consumption! Other sports cannot do that.
• Because it’s a proper sport not like golf – a good walk spoiled, F1 – Mario Karts for big kids or Darts – I can’t get the Alas Smith and Jones out my head any time darts is mentioned (

Favourite Place to Run
The Town Moor dominated the favourite places to run alone, with four votes, while there was a vote each for Heaton Park, Bluebell Woods Morpeth, Holywell Dene, the route along Scotswood Road to Newburn Business Park, and the woods and lakes around St Helen’s. Supporters of the legendary abutment will be disappointed to hear that there were no votes for Water Street but have no fear – the abutment will feature later.

Favourite Other Club
A number of people could list more than one other running club as their favourite: the most frequently chosen, with three votes, was Heaton for being not too big or serious, being friendly and having runners my age. Next most popular was Jarrow because of friends in my age group and friendly runners like Jonathan. There was one vote each for Kirri Billi Runners (Thursday night Harbour Bridge run followed by beers and pizza), one for Northumberland Fell Runners, one for the North East Marathon Club (as it has a similar ethic to us and has so many CRR members, although cannot compare to CRR), one for Blyth (they seem to be friendly but mainly because they put on the Links 10K for free), one for Windrush Triathlon Club (my daughter runs with them and they seem a nice bunch) and one for Allen Valley Striders (‘cos they organise my favourite run). So friendliness and putting on a good race seem to be the things that we like most about other clubs.

Happiest Memories of Claremont
A whole range of occasions were identified as favourite memories, with the length of the Tyne relays a recurring theme:
• Group meeting before GNR or sharing a tent in the freezing cold at XC
• Doing our Claremont relays – a full day running with good food and great company; what’s not to like?
• Coffee/beer after Sunday Runday or races
• The abutment experience.
• The eventual success of the Weetslade Relays.
• When I won Claremont of the year award in December 2016
• There are many – any time we are competing as a team or in large numbers
• Completing this survey takes some beating
• The 30th and 35th anniversary relays.
• For me, it’s reaching the mouth of the Tyne after running all the way from both sources, and singing songs on the beach and some idiots plunging into the sea.

Favourite Other Member
One participant was unable to choose a favourite other club members, saying: ‘Aaah! that’s difficult ‘cos I like everyone’. There were votes for Nina Jensen, Roberto Marzo, Dave Kear, Tom Tinsley, Kenny McCormick, Gill Milne, Sarah Kerr and Jamie Harding.
I won’t embarrass the people chosen by giving the reasons here but please feel free to contact me if you would like to know why you were selected!

Miscellaneous Positive Comments
I’m very pleased to report that, despite all the positive responses to earlier questions, everyone who filled in the survey had something positive left to say:
• Claremont is so welcoming and makes running fun. And sky blue is a lush colour for our tops. I could not run in anything red and white.
• I never wanted to join a running club as was happy running on my own but now I’d never look back and think we are a great bunch. Particularly noticeable at the moment with everyone sending positive thoughts and keeping the club spirit up
• Highly recommended
• Always enjoyed the friendliness and inclusiveness of Claremont – long may it continue
• Claremont has and still is shaping my retirement long term plans (where age is just a number)
• Even if you hate the actual run, you always feel good about it later!
• Just a lovely club that really does cater for people of all abilities and being part of it has truly enriched my life
• Claremont is a fantastic club. Just the right size for everyone to know each other and a lovely mix of interesting personalities from different backgrounds.
• I can’t wait to run with everyone again
• The next Claremont Monday session – whenever it is – will be amazing
I think these last two thoughts, in particular, sum up how we are all feeling at the moment.