Orpington Road Runners 1985

Orpington Road Runners was formed in 1985 by David Cross with Gillian and Alan Else.

Their aim was to attract like-minded people wanting to run together on Tuesday evenings. This was at the time of the first great running boom – the London Marathon was attracting new participants to the sport. In the early days, only about ten or so people gathered under a lamppost by a local pub. No lavish changing facilities to offer, just an opportunity to gather and enjoy a modest Tuesday night run.

The Club ethos has always been one of fellowship very few rules and entry requirements. Serious runners joined Blackheath Harriers if you just wanted a run and a chat then Orpington Road Runners was right up your street. After a year or two, we became ‘official’ and affiliated to county and national athletics associations. This enabled our members to get cheaper race entries and the discounts on running kit. A Committee was formed and a modest annual subscription (three pounds!)was charged, but we were determined to keep the Club friendly and welcoming. We have continued to grow since 1985, but Tuesday evenings are still the most popular of which we have run every single one.

Orpington Road Runners 2017

Running has become increasingly popular especially since 1981 when the first Mars London Marathon took place Running still proves to be a very popular activity and this is reflected in our current club size.

We maintain a good and friendly relationship with our neighbouring clubs, such as New Eltham Joggers and Petts Wood Runners.

Club membership now stands at nearly 400 paid-up members, with regular weekly attendances of 100+ yellow Shirts, or near-members – who are perhaps trying the club out for a couple of weeks before to signing! Swarms of yellow shirts departing from the same site near the Buff P.H. every Tuesday are a common sight for those in the area.

With membership growing almost daily, it’s getting difficult to put names to all the faces! The Club provides a great running experience to its members. Our attendance and performance times in events has improved quite considerably over the last few years. Our main aims remain – simply – to provide safe, interesting and challenging running, together with advice and most importantly companionship whenever we meet. In 2020 we were proud to celebrate 35 years of club activity (although a party was not possible owing to the pandemic), however, we look forward to being able to celebrate our longevity officially very soon!