- Created on Sunday, 01 November 2009 17:08
- Last Updated on Thursday, 06 August 2015 10:07
- Written by John Bunyan
A short history of Macclesfield Harriers and Athletic Club
Macclesfield Harriers & Athletic Club is a thriving, competitive, diverse and friendly club with over 600 members based on the west side of the Peak District National Park. The club has an â€˜inclusiveâ€™ ethos and a strong link to the local community. Club members range from â€˜beginnerâ€™ to â€˜eliteâ€™ and active members ages range from 9 to 77 years old. The club has five main sections â€“ road running, track & field, cross-country, fell running and ultra distance challenges â€“ the club competes successfully in all disciplines. There are club training sessions for all abilities held every day of the week organised by a large group of enthusiastic and creative volunteers.
Although the club can trace its roots back to 1897, it was reformed in 1945 immediately after the Second World War. In the following 20 years the club flourished mainly in road and cross-country running, although track & field matches were also held.
In 1999, after a long campaign, a successful lottery bid produced a permanent 8 lane track & field facility, complete with purpose built clubhouse. The club successfully competes at all ages in three different local T&F leagues.
The Harriers also compete in two cross-country leagues during the winter months â€“ this proves to be a great way for members to keep fitness all year round!
Macc Harriers organises four local road races - Macclesfield Half Marathon being the biggest is now in its 11th year the profits from all the races being donated to local charities (over Â£120,000 so far).
Since 1984 the club has published a popular quarterly club magazine, and now along with most other clubs boasts a comprehensive web site with a very active forum (www.macclesfield-harriers.co.uk).
The club has recently organised several â€˜Couch to 5Kâ€™ courses which has brought many new people to running. Many now compete and in some cases their lives have been transformed through the sport.
Being close to the Peak District hills, the club has strong fell running section and has been very successful in many local fell races and also long distance challenges such as the Bob Graham Round and the UTMB.
Four club members have recently been involved with the â€˜Be Inspiredâ€™ athletics films for the BBC with voice-over by Steve Cram.