Chapter 1 of our story - How the Club Was Formed
35 Years Of Running!
With the launch of the London Marathon in 1981, there was a steady increase in interest in distance running from the early eighties onwards. Newport Harriers were then the only club to offer long distance running. They were predominant in track and field disciplines and a formidable force at 5km, 10km, half marathon and marathon distances too. By 1984/5 clubs whose sole interest was distance running were launching all over the country. These encouraged the whole idea of social running, where participation and personal challenge were the prime focus.
Early in 1985, running sessions were being offered by Lliswerry Leisure Centre (based at Lliswerry High School) as with other leisure centres at Fairwater, Griffithstown, Risca and Chepstow. The (then) Leisure Centre Manager, Roy Skelton together with Assistant Manager & runner, Colin Dow staged a fun run of about 3 miles to & from the centre around Straits Lane. The participant numbers convinced these guys that a running club would be viable, so they advertised in the South Wales Argus to seek members.
Club Founder, John Hill was one of those people who attended the first meeting and together with Neil Chipper, Phil Price and about 9 others formed the running group originally named Lliswerry Loafers which became Lliswerry Runners. They took the now iconic maroon & white colours for the kit as these were these were used by the school.
The club has used the same school as the location for the Lliswerry 8 race ever since but moved training to Newport Stadium when it was built as part of the NISV development.
The club has grown significantly since then but John's observation is one which we take most pride in. The club may have grown from 12 members to 600 but.....
"....our club ethos has not changed in 35 years. We are still Newport's friendly running club"
For more information here is the interview with John 5 years ago made for our 30th Birthday.
Chapter 2 spotlights our founders