CARC Member Questionnaire – September 2023


58 Croft members took time out of their day to complete the CARC Questionnaire – providing invaluable insight into what runners love and what they would like the club to offer in the future. Of those responding, 47 said that they regularly attended club training sessions.

Given the profile of those that responded, it’s not a surprise that most took part in the Tuesday and Thursday night training sessions. The most popular activity offered by the club was the Leinthal Starkes / Bircher Handicap series (89%), after this came attending social events (70%) and benefiting from the EA race discount (72%).

Croft Castle Tops the List of Most Loved Running Locations

Croft Castle (including Bircher Common) was the favourite venue with 74% of members choosing it. After this it was High Vinnalls (61%), Shobdon Wood (47%) and Shobdon Arches (44%). Wigmore School was also popular (37%) followed by Wigmore Rolls (32%).

We also had some great suggestions for new venues including Credenhill, Weobly Woods, Garnstone Estate, Haugh Woods and Hergest. There were also requests for venues a bit closer to Leominster, Hereford and Knighton.

The plan is to have some ‘away days’ where we can explore other training locations. Expect to see some new venues appear in the months ahead.

The Club Championship – Love the Variety, less Keen on the Cost

The main appeal of The Club Championship, where members run 6 out of 10 selected races, is in simply suggesting different events to try. 63% of those responding said this was the case. The variety of races, with trail, road and fell was also appealing (58%). Around half of those who responded said they try to run at least 6 of the races with half aiming to run some of them.  

There were some concerns about the cost, particularly about the inclusion of The Worcester Half Marathon (£33), also the fact that some of the smaller races can fill up quickly.

Our intention is publish the list of Championship races for 2024/25 in January, although there is often a challenge with smaller races that might not announce their date until a few moths beforehand. We will be focussing on low cost and free races in the future.

Croft Kit – Long-sleeve tops the list

There was a resounding vote for long-sleeved Croft tops – Sky Blue (52%) and Dark Blue (45%). Other favoured options were a Rain Top (42%) and Sports Holdall (26%). Suggestions for other kit included drinks bottles, dry bags and number pins.

Track Sessions – Monthly Track Meetings Would Be Popular

48% were keen for CARC to have a regular training session at Hereford Track. We wanted to find out how often members might like this to be and also which day of the week. Thankfully the result was clear with 87% opting for one track session a month and 28% preferring a Wednesday. The second most popular day was Thursday with 21%

Daytime Training – Off The Menu For Now (but more Weekend Options)

Offering daytime training sessions is always going to be a challenge. It can spread coaches too widely and might have an effect on evening training numbers. However, as the nights draw in we we are aware that it’s something some members might prefer.

Of those who answered the questionnaire, only 34% said they would like to attend training during the day. Clearly, for most of those who work during the week, daytime training isn’t an option. However, there is interest for runs on the weekend. These are already proving popular and, whilst we might not have formal coaching sessions, it’s clearly important to publicise weekend runs and make them as inclusive as possible.

Friends make Training fun

When asked what the most things were about being a member of CARC 88% said they loved the social aspect of running with other people. 64% love the structure that regular training sessions gives them and over two thirds say they have made great friends running with Croft.

Just under a half said that being in CARC encouraged them to try new running challenges. Also appreciated were the chance to take part in the XC and Handicap races. (41% and 44%).

CARC Social Events – More After Run Socials

Around half of those who responded thought the number of social events organised by the club was about right. There was a sizeable number (34%) who would like more social get togethers after runs. This is easier in the summer months but definitely something we will look to have more of next year.

There were also some requests for more organised trips away. Both the Cardiff Half
Marathon and Pembrokeshire trip were mentioned as trips people very much enjoyed.
There will definitely be more CARC adventures next year.

Other Thoughts and Comments

A big thank you to everyone who added more thoughts and recommendations. As all
responses were anonymous we can’t answer them directly so we’ll put some answers on
here now.

Q: There needs to be a way that club members can see a list of members and a way of
introducing new members. The amount of times I’ve been asked, who is that, to which I can
only answer, I dunno.

A: We can’t publish a list of members but we are aware that, as the club grows there are often new members at training. We’ll try and make sure that new runners are introduced whenever possible.

Q: Could the Club consider arranging individual coaching at a cost to the member?

A: Kelly and Eric are more than happy to draw up tailored training plans for any runner and to offer advice
for anyone taking on a new challenge. There’s no charge for Croft members.

Q: More downhill and flat training – we do a lot of hills which is great but it needs evening out a

A: We’re introducing a more structured training programme which will have a better
balance of hills and tempo runs on the flat.

And you said some really lovely things

It’s a great club. The emphasis on trails makes it stand out and it is fantastic. Huge amount if
effort goes into making it work, including the newsletter. Love the way all distances, paces,
events, etc are encouraged and celebrated.’

‘Thankyou to the coaches and people who give up their time for the club’

‘So proud to be a part of such a fantastic and inclusive club, the committee do an incredible job. Well done all!’

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