Richmond running group wins national title

Team Caterpillar's running group. Photo taken prior to pandemic.

Richmond-based Team Caterpillar have been crowned the winner of the England Athletics Awards’ RunTogether group of the year.

Founder of the group Dionne Torkington-Craven and members logged onto YouTube on Saturday night to watch the virtual awards evening unfold.

November 2020 saw the group crowned winners in their category in the Yorkshire and Humberside regional heat after members of the group put Team Caterpillar forward for the RunTogether Group of the Year accolade in secret.

The group came together to submit numerous nominations and a short video.

Team Caterpillar was founded in 2019 when Dionne saw a need for an inclusive community for those wanting to start their running journey.

She said: “I always loved the idea of the couch to 5K initiative but starting running completely by yourself is hard, so I decided to offer coached sessions so the group could support each other and not face the challenge alone.”

More than 40 runners joining the initial group programme and now two years on, the group offers sessions for complete beginners right up to those training for marathons.

There is also a supportive Facebook community of over 500 members.

“The main thing I want to do is help people get into running in a way that suits them and they’re going to enjoy.

“We’ve built an incredible community in just 2 years and winning such a prestigious award is just the icing on the cake.”

There are 2,827 athletic running groups listed in the UK and Team Caterpillar fought off competition from all nine regions to be crowned RunTogether Group of the year 2020.

Dionne’s says her sessions will resume as soon as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

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  1. A great achievement, well done. I am not sure if Dionne is aware but there is already a running club in Richmond – Swaledale Runners, they operate out of the Outdoor Club in Richmond. They cater for all abilities and have qualified coaches too. Perhaps its worth thinking about joining the two up, rather than fragmenting local provision?

  2. I agree entirely with your comment Chris.
    However, you will have to accept that some people will find it difficult to amalgamate, fir one reason only – total control.

  3. An addendum to my earlier comment. Rather than fragmented I probably should have said diluted. Membership of both clubs will inevitably go up and down and fishing in the same pond will cause numbers to drop and clubs do end up folding as a result of things like this. Joining up will provide more numbers and be better placed to stand the test of time. Sue, you have a valid point.

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