The Avon Valley Runners have marked their 35th anniversary, with plans for a new course to help bolster troops after lockdown.

The club was born out of a long association with Trowbridge Athletic Club and its ten founding members, including Stan Farr and his wife Judy, developed their new club in 1986 as there was less of an opportunity for distance running at Trowbridge AC.

Their intention for the new club was clear: to keep things as informal as possible and this was to be reflected in the name: not “harriers” or “athletic club”, but simply “runners”.

The club’s name reflected the group's modest aspirations: a friendly, uncomplicated association of distance runners whose favourite stamping-ground was and would be the scenic and testing valley of the River Avon: Avon Valley Runners.

Fast-forward 35 years and the club has now grown from 10 members to more than 300 runners. In non covid times, they are based at Trowbridge Rugby Club with their own running track and at Pound Lane in Bradford on Avon.

Wiltshire Times: Avon Valley RunnersAvon Valley Runners

The group caters for all abilities including juniors aged 11+ and also have active members in their 80s. There are members from Melksham, Westbury, Frome and Gloucestershire and members who enjoy different distances from 5k parkruns to Ultra-Marathons.

In 2013 the club started the Avon Valley Triathletes by merging with DB Max Tri to offer multi-sport opportunities to those member who like to swim and cycle too.

To celebrate 35 years of running, current members have been buying specially made running buffs, supplied by Sporting Billy in Chippenham, in jade and coral; the traditional and modern colours used to celebrate a 35 year anniversary.

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A total of £1 from the sale of each one is being donated to their chosen charity and so far have raised £70 for The Doorway Project based in Chippenham which helps homeless people in North Wiltshire.

The club roll of honour includes:

Wiltshire Road Race League Winners (2014, 2015)

Wiltshire Junior League Winners (2015, 2016)

Wiltshire XC Championship Winners (2014)

To find out more about the Avon Valley Runners, or to get involved in future courses, visit or to look through their newsletters from 1986 to now: