More runners at Russwood

Marketing Director

Every Tuesday evening, whatever the weather, a group of intrepid Russwood colleagues don their running shoes and head torches and set out on a 5k run around Newtonmore. The Russwood running group was set up in October by avid runner and Russwood’s Sales and Marketing Director, Claire Howie as a way to keep motivated over winter and get outdoors with like-minded colleagues. In this blog, Claire tells us all about the ‘More Runners and how the group came about.

Claire on her 100th Parkrun!


I started doing Parkrun in 2017 when the Aviemore Parkrun event started. Like a lot of runners, I used to suffer from pre-race nerves at big events and I thought that going along to the Parkrun every week, in a less formal running environment, might help me to get over pre-race jitters. I go most weeks either to take part or volunteer, and if I’m away for the weekend, I can usually find a Parkrun local to wherever I’m going which is a nice way to try out other courses in different areas – always 5k though. The thing I love about Parkrun is that there’s something in it for everyone. For the serious runners jostling for position up at the front, there’s the challenge of chasing a fast time and aiming for a PB; social runners use it to meet up with friends and family, some bringing their dogs along, or pushing their kids around in buggies; older runners make up the numbers every week keeping up a routine to maintain their fitness and get out in the fresh air and it’s a real mix of new and established runners using it as part of their weekly training programme.

Winter motivation

My preferred time of day to run is first thing in the morning, especially between Spring and Autumn. Winter is when I really struggle to get up and out in dark, cold mornings – anyone who runs regularly knows that it’s the first step over the front door that’s the hardest and for me, it’s made easier when I’ve made an arrangement to run with someone else. Chatting to one of the Production team towards the end of summer about needing an incentive to keep our fitness levels up, we agreed to make a date to meet up for a run after work. The group – (Newton)More Runners – has grown from two of us initially with now twelve in the group – it’s been a really nice way to get to know colleagues a bit better away from work and to socialise with fellow runners out in the fresh air.

Some of the regular ‘More Runners: Ann-Louise, Marty, Claire, Richard and Richard’s son Cameron
Cold weather and dark nights won’t stop our runners! Michael, John, Claire, Craig, Maddy & Andy

‘More running

We’ve got a real mix of people who come along on a Tuesday night, with a few committed regulars (Craig is yet to miss a Tuesday night 😊) but usually there are at least four of us who turn up from Russwood, plus a few people living in the village who we’ve recruited along the way! A bit like Parkrun, we make sure that no-one feels like they’re last and we all pretty much run at the group’s pace – it’s a social run really. Up to this point, it’s been me who picks the route. We usually run 5k round the village but we’ve also done a couple of interval training sessions to mix things up a bit. Once the light nights come back, we’ll get out on the trails a bit more whereas over the winter, we’ve been a bit restricted to loops around the village with the odd circuit of the golf course when it’s slippy or icy underfoot.

Advent challenge

One of the ‘More Runners mentioned that he does Advent Running every December where you run a minimum of 30 minutes each day from 1st December finishing up with a run on Christmas Day. It was a great incentive to keep putting on our running gear and getting out on dark, cold days when the fire and the telly were a much more appealing prospect. You never regret getting out for a run, no matter what the weather is doing.

A frosty winter morning, perfect for a run!
The picturesque Aviemore Parkrun route

Why you should give running a try!

Running just makes you feel good! I find it clears my head, keeps me fit and strong, and helps make a bit of space for the weekly cakes brought in to work – there’s always someone having a birthday or providing an excuse for cakes in the office. I love that I can fit running into my day at a time that suits me and I can make it as hard or easy as I like. If anyone is fancying giving it a try, but not sure if they’re fit enough or not, just put your trainers on and get outside. A good way to get started is to walk/run initially and set yourself a goal of running a preferred route the whole way.

If you are looking for people to run with, see if there is a Parkrun in your local area. Absolutely anyone can take part – it’s free, it’s friendly and it’s guaranteed that no-one will ever be last to finish! There is always a Parkrun volunteer whose job as Tail Walker is to sweep up and make sure that everyone gets round the course safely.

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