The club has been based variously at Cornard Sports Centre, Sudbury Sports Centre and at present is based at the Kingfisher. At intervals, the idea of a ‘clubhouse’ has been discussed.
The Chairman’s Award, mentioned above, and all the other annual wards to members have been and still are awarded at the Club’s Christmas ‘do’, which seems to have become based at the Bay Horse – so maybe there’s a clubhouse!
As Stour Valley Joggers, or as Sudbury Joggers, the club has always been affiliated to England Athletics and the Suffolk County Athletics Association (for several years the club with the smallest membership in Suffolk). As such we have gradually accumulated the knowledge and experience to put on races of our own. The Stour Valley Joggers generation of runners had put on the Border Run – a 15 miler that headed off from Brundon in the direction of Long Melford and its environs.
The next generation of runners started by putting on a 5 miler, as an evening race (not a Friday 5), starting from the AFC Sudbury area in Brundon Lane and heading towards Rodbridge and back via the ‘concrete grain silo’. This survived a couple of years and then the Sudbury Fun Run landed with the club and took over as the ‘club’s race’. One race a year was, at the time, as much as the small membership felt able to organise – valuable experience. We have, in the past, had support from outside the club in the form of Coaching from Richard Fellingham (Stowmarket Striders) and a talk with questions from Chicago Marathon winner (1996) from Lowestoft, Paul Evans (City of Norwich AC). These whilst we were based at the Upper School.
Now we are putting on our first Friday 5 this year and are organising our 10th Sudbury Fun Run – the 37th running of the event. The Suffolk Grand Prix has featured the Sudbury Fun Run twice and, this year, features the Friday 5 as an event – so Sudbury as a running club is on the map – though it has been there in the past too – the County Cross Country Championships were held here in Sudbury in 1930 and at Lavenham in 1934 (Suffolk County Athletics Association website). Perhaps that’s for the near future.
It seems that we are running further and further with every passing year as more people do the various marathon challenges around the country and globally – Barrow, the SVP, Peddars Way, the North & South Downs Ways, the Marathon des Sables and many others to mention only a few of the more local ones. We are now well represented across the whole of the results lists of most races, which is really good! The fact that we now are contemplating having a second coach to take runners and their supporters to this year’s London Marathon is testament to the club’s growth and success.
Another aspect of this is the introduction of parkrun and junior parkrun has seen the numbers of runners in the Sudbury area grow as well as the consequent number of runners joining the club – many thanks to Lisa Dalton for initiating it in Cornard.
The Club’s September Sunday event has now been going for three years and has variously been a half marathon, 6 miles and a social all of which allows us to contribute to a chosen charity. Again, this is a great development.