The club was formed on 24 September 1985 after a split from Chesterfield AC due to differences between track and road running members. The initial meeting was held in the Prince of Wales pub on Chatsworth Road (now Maison Mes Amis, a French themed bar & restaurant).
Tony Harris was the guiding light in setting up the club, affiliating NDRC to various governing bodies, implementing training schedules, sorting out finances and winning an athletics award for a coaching scheme. Sadly Tony is no longer with us but his legacy lives on in the thriving club we have today.
The first year was difficult as our members were not permitted to run in team events for the club due to an enforced 9 month ban for moving from one club to another – a rule that is still in force today.
Initially the club trained at Chesterfield College, then Queen’s Park Cricket Pavilion and eventually found a permanent home at the GKN Sports Club that used to be on Newbold Road. With use of 2 portacabins which had regular problems with a leaking roof, showers not working, no lights etc. It was eventually decided a new venue was needed and in March 1996 NDRC moved to our current home at Queen’s Park Sports Centre (the old centre and now the new).
By the end of 1986 NDRC had 70 members, fluctuating for a couple of years numbers but the last decade has seen a steady increase with a peak of 250 members at September 2014. Also in those early days most members were male but the mix has changed in recent years with the number of women rapidly catching the number of men.
By 1987 NDRC were regularly entering team competitions and also had individual success with Dawn Harris, Geoff Pemberton, Mark Keld and Maureen Oddie all in the UK rankings. Maureen represented the Isle of Man in the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh finishing 11th in the marathon.
NDRC competed in various races and had some success in the early 1990’s winning the High Peak Relay in 1992, and again in 1994 and finishing 3rd in the Loughborough Cross Country Relays.
The club have always been involved in race organisation with the Bolsover 10k first held in 1986 and for many years was sponsored by Coalite and held at their social club. The Chesterfield Half Marathon and Spire 10 started from Queen’s Park before the move to Holmebrook Valley Park and the Chesterfield Chase 10k was held at Grassmoor Country Park. It is only Bolsover and Spire that survive today however the monthly No Walk in the Park 5k race series from Queen’s Park started in 2009 is now firmly established with a 1500m fun run to encourage the runners of the future.
25 years of existence were completed in October 2010 and NDRC celebrated by once again winning the High Peak Relay. NDRC have competed in the Booths Road and Cross Country Leagues (now the derby Runner League) since 2006 and have come close to winning the Road League on several occasions with our men finishing 2nd twice in 2013 & 2014 and our ladies second on four occasions, 2006, 2007, 2009 & 2014. We have had less success in the Cross Country League our best results coming in 2013/14 when our men were 3rd and our ladies 2nd.
The club continues to thrive competing as individuals and in team events mainly on the road and cross country but also with a hard core of members regularly competing on the Fells. We are a regular presence at races around Derbyshire, South Yorkshire and East Midlands as well as organising trips each year to London Marathon, Race the Train and a training weekend in the Lake District.
NDRC have come a long way since that distant meeting in the Prince of Wales pub and by the end of 2018 membership peaked at almost 400 members. By 2020 this had fallen to around 250 but is once again on the increase.
Many running clubs have a version of a club challenge. Some also have a club championship.
In 1998 North Derbyshire set up the Grand Prix 2 X 10k, 2 x 10m and 2 x half marathon. The winner received an award. Mick Cross administered this incarnation.
Then came a fledgling handicap series organised by Barry Ansell, started in 1997. This was a monthly race in locations near Chesterfield including Ogston Reservoir and Poolsbrook Country Park. Again this had an annual award for the winner. Also it established meals at local pubs paid for by the club post race three times a year.
As part of this series a Christmas handicap race completed the year. Also The Twigg handicap race, est.1993, was included.
Eventually, the club challenge as we know it was generated by Colin Sinnott in 2004. The challenge has included our races, BDL races, local road races and latterly Peak District fell races.
- The Club Challenge winners, Grand Prix and Handicap series winners are in the appendix of this document.
Since the late 90’s the main vehicle for communicating with members has been the newsletter. In March 1999 it changed to Newsextra and in May 2000, it’s current title, Newsrun. The picture cover came much later October 2010.
The A4 sheet became an A5 booklet comprising of
- Members race reports
- Results list
- Adverts for club races, events, etc
- Hints, tips and quotes
- Technical articles
- Members excursions
- Committee update
The quarterly bulletin originally distributed via training, was subsequently hand delivered to members not at training and very recently it is sent digitally with a handful still receiving a paper copy.
Along came a website providing more of the same in 2002. A permanent Newsrun. The site was updated in Sept. 2010 and changed names.A new website has been created and went live in 2021.
Email was being used prior around 2004.
Twitter arrived 2012 followed by Facebook in 2016 becoming members only in 2019.
New Instagram account in 2021.
The logical direction for a road running club is to organise a race once it has formed. This happened almost immediately for NDRC. The Coalite 10k was born in 1986 merely months after the formation of the club. An employee of Coalite and founder member of the club (Clarence) Clad Taylor organised the race.
He got sponsorship from Coalite and sought the committee’s support to make the race happen. This created the club’s first race volunteers.
In 1989 Chesterfield Borough Council CBC organised a half marathon with the support of NDRC. In 1996 the club took over organising the race. In 2003 the committee reduced this to the Spire 10m race. The Spire had formerly been a Chesterfield AC race.
In 2009 John Cannon proposed a 5k thus No Walk in The Park arrived.
In addition to these the club organised
- Grassmoor Country Park race as part of Booths Road Race league (2003-2009)
- Holmebrook Valley Park race as part of Booths XC league (2011-2019)
- Community 5k (2011-2015)
- Chesterfield Chase 10k at Grassmoor Country Park (1991-1995)
An early feature of our races was seeking sponsorship and raising money for charities.
Sponsors included Chesterfield Borough Council and Running Shoe companies. See the Charities section for more details.
Since its inception NDRC has fund-raised for charities both as a club and as individuals.
In the early years members also fundraised for the club. One policy was any member fundraising via sponsored run should split proceeds 50/50 club and charity.
In 1999 the club formed a partnership with Ashgate Hospice. The Charity purchased London Marathon entries, known as bonds, and distributed them to club members to raise funds for hospice. In 2004 this relationship was ended by the charity, claiming they could raise more via other participants.
The first charity fund-raiser was initiated by Tony Harris who had received a grant to develop running with disabled people. This resulted in supporting Ringwood Centre, Brimington to fund a video recorder.
A young disabled man, Dean Marples, successfully qualified to represent GB at The Special Olympics in USA in 1987. The Club supported his mother to fund a flight and accommodation to accompany Dean.
Over the years the club has raised in excess of £74,000 for various charities including Ashgate Hospice £27,700 and St. John’s £2,800.
Since the mid 90’s our races have had nominated charities including Bluebell Children’s Hospice, Macmillan Cancer Care and Stroke Association. There have also been some local charities Pool for Megan, Brookfield School and Sporting Futures.
Fun Runs organised in conjunction with our races – Bolsover 10k, Spire 10m, NWiP and Community 5k have also supported charities.
In the beginning an enthusiastic coach, Tony Harris, developed a programme for a young disabled man. Meanwhile, club training sessions consisted of the seemingly standard running club model of fast group and slower group separate training nights. Historically Tuesday and Thursday evenings. At various times a Sunday morning group has existed.
Over the years many members have ‘coached’ these groups. Some had formal training. Notably Don Peckitt who has coached at the club for many years. Some paid for by the club. The informality of being a friendly club appears to override the desire of some for more formal coaching to reach goals.
As the advent of the internet kicked in, supplemented by books, runners could be self taught, self coached and progress.
What stands out from the information is that three people, Mike Bravin, Colin Sinnott and Dave Paddick held the three main roles in North Derbyshire RC for a considerable length of time.
It seems from records the (management) committee was not lacking people to put themselves forward. The cut and thrust of seemingly the most mundane decision can cause disagreement.
The annual proposal to decide the subscription amount. But coupled with a fee to belong to a national body.
A group of runners created an organisation in response to the national athletics body, UKA, restructuring and increasing charges to clubs. The organisation, Association of Running Clubs ARC, offered support in the form of insurance and race permits at a cheaper price than UKA, UK Athletics.
The Committee by a small majority decided to affiliate to both organisations for the first year. Subsequently, decision to affiliate to ARC only followed. The pros and cons of both options were minuted and discussed at an AGM.
In 2018 the AGM produced a new crop of committee members and they continue to develop the club for the benefit of members. The club is no longer affiliated to ARC but is affiliated to UKA.