Royston Runners are launching a free 10-week 'Couch to 5k' programme, which is open to anyone from the town and surrounding area.

The group will meet at the Heath Sports Club every Saturday from 1pm to 2pm, starting on September 23.

Runners of all fitness and experience levels are welcome to turn up on the day, with no need to pre-book. Children must be supervised at all times.

Royston Crow: Former Royston Runners Couch to 5k participant Helen PyeFormer Royston Runners Couch to 5k participant Helen Pye (Image: Royston Runners)

Sessions are run by UKA-qualified athletics coach Grant Chapman, along with volunteers from Royston Runners.

Grant said: "Royston Runners has been offering Couch to 5k (C25K) programmes for more than five years.

"The aim is to give anyone, regardless of previous experience or current fitness levels, access to structured, professionally coached sessions, but with the focus being on support, encouragement and community.

"Our sessions are run on quiet, traffic free trails and are adapted to suit the individual as the course progresses."

Royston Runners provide the course as part of their commitment to improve the health and wellbeing of residents.


Former participant Emma Tooley said: "I’ve never been sporty, somehow the couch was always more appealing… but in January 2022 I signed up for the C25K programme with Royston Runners and by March 2023 I’d completed the Cambridge half marathon!

"I joined to get fitter and keep up with my young daughter. I’m not a fast runner (and not likely to ever be!) but running with a group has really helped me to keep it up and I now even have the confidence to run solo sometimes!

"Plus just this week, me, my husband and five-year-old daughter all headed out for our first family run.

"When I started C25K she’d said 'but mummy girls don’t run' as she’d never seen me go out, only her dad… that’s my motivation to keep it up for sure."

Another former participant, Helen Pye, added: "I joined the Couch to 5K programme to get fit again after having children.

"Joining the club got me into longer distances including 10Ks and half marathons, and last year I even completed the London Marathon, something I never dreamt I would be able to do."