In 2014 Dick Griffin (who at the time was President of Blackheath and Bromley Harriers AC), and his two close friends, Lisa Richards and Jo Clarke, talked about the possibility of starting a voluntary running course to encourage people to take up running.
Joined by their shared love of running, and a desire to help non-runners discover health, fitness and the fun that running in a supportive and motivational group could bring, they decided to start a group to help people achieve what seemed almost impossible for them – taking part in a 5km parkrun in 9-10 weeks.
In September 2014, having placed a few posters around Norman Park advertising the course, fourteen people turned up on a brisk Autumnal morning and Zero to Hero Runners was born. That first course was a massive success… all participants completed the parkrun….and loved it!
Word of mouth spread, and the second course brought 20 people. By the end of 2015 more than 150 previously self confessed non-runners had taken part in the parkrun, and eight more coaches had qualified to help with the growing numbers.
Graduates of the course now come back weekly to go on an ‘improvers’ run of four or more miles at a brisker, more challenging pace. Nowadays there are even groups running up to 8-10 miles. Regular runner Wendy Leach opens the cafe at the Athletics Track and after the weekly run everyone can catch up over homemade soup, bacon rolls and cups of tea.
In December 2015 the group was nominated for Sports Club of the Year at the London Sports Awards, and then in 2018, the club became accredited by England Athletics. Today our members compete in 10kms, half marathons and marathons up and down the country and beyond.
Our run leaders are easy to spot, they all wear distinctive red tops on our Wednesday morning runs, as opposed to the traditional blue club colour. Each run leader is an experienced runner, first-aid trained and has undertaken a Run Leadership course by England Athletics.
Our committee members
Mental Health Champion
Hi, I’m Anita, the Mental Health Champion for Zero to Hero Runners. The role came about due an England Athletics initiative called #RunAndTalk, which is supported by Mind, the mental health charity.
The aim of #RunAndTalk is to improve mental health through running in England by getting people talking about mental health, sharing their experiences and removing stigma.
We aim to support people experiencing mental health problems to be physically active through running, whether that is to support them in starting, returning to or continuing to run. #RunAndTalk evenings will be held every few months and will give members of Zero to Hero Runners an opportunity to talk about mental health issues.
Mental Health Champion