Local community running club Marsh Lane Harriers are raising money to refurbish the Rimrose Valley ‘chaffers’ running track.

The club wants to improve the track to its full potential after seeing the importance and benefits running has to the local community. The aim is turn ‘chaffers’ into one of the top spots for running in Liverpool.

The club started in January 2019 with just five members, remarkably just two years later the club has over two-hundred runners. Founder John Carragher admitted that he did not expect the club to get this big.

Picture from @marshlaneharriers on Instagram
Picture from @marshlaneharriers on Instagram

He said: “I knew the club would be big with my friends but I honestly didn’t think it would be as big as this. It’s overwhelming sometimes to be honest”

Running with The Marsh Lane Harriers – YouTube

The Harriers club already has a great community feel which is demonstrated in the video link above.

Refurbishment of the track would allow the club to continue to grow and have a further impact on the local area and people.

The club has made another step forward recently as the Marsh Lane Harriers became affiliated by England Athletics. This could help the club with funding and opportunities in the future.

Marsh Lane Harriers and Mental Health

The Harriers have become a popular club within the community and has been a massive help to its members during the pandemic. Carragher revealed that many of his runners have outlined the benefits to their mental health.

He said: “I didn’t know how many people where struggling with their mental health and some of the lads have openly told me that the track and club help them with that. It was a real eye-opener for me and it is what I take pleasure from most”.

He added: “It’s also a release from your work or your problems and can help with your mental health which could be affected by COVID at the moment”.

Picture via @marshlaneharriers on Instagram
Picture via @marshlaneharriers on Instagram

Local runner and member of the Harriers, James Hickey, highlighted how the club helped him and many others through a tough time.

He said: “With the lockdown that has been in place this year, it’s been hard to motivate and get up and do anything, but with the coach sending you out with some plans each week it really does keep you motivated and it also gives you something to look forward to”

Hickey added: “It’s also a fantastic community group not only have they took it upon themselves to do up and get the track back in use from years gone by but they also help out with local charities and within the local community”

Despite the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has caused, the club still keep on encouraging the runners to push on via the virtual run club where they can share thier runs with fellow harriers.

Marsh Lane Harriers Fundraising Challenges

The club will be partaking in gruelling challenges to help raise money for the cause. John Carragher and Michael Powell will be taking part in the ‘4x4x7’ challenge. This will see them run four miles every four hours for seven days and will see the pair run 24 miles a day.

Carragher has said he is looking forward to the challenge: “I’m looking forward to it, people keep telling me how tough it is going to be but its for the track and the club so its getting done no matter what!”

Other challenges include, 8-year old, Jude Bretherton who will be playing his part by doing the ‘2.2x2x24’ challenge. The young runner will aim to run two-point-two miles every two hours for 24 hours.

The club have also decided to set up group challenges including running 130 miles in two days. This is the distance between the Leeds and Liverpool canal. Members also plan to run five consecutive marathons across five weekends starting in September.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by John Carragher to collect all the money raised.

Images via @marshlaneharriers on Instagram