About the Club
Les Croupiers running club is a primarily a long distance road running club, competing over all distances from 5k to 100km. Whilst this provides the core activity of the club, many of our members are active in offroad, fell running, triathlon, multisport and orienteering events. The club races in the Gwent Cross Country league during the winter.
Les Croupiers Running Club was founded in 1980. It took the name, and a sponsorship deal, of the company of one of its founder members. Les Croupiers Running Club is still fortunate enough to enjoy generous sponsorship from this source on an annual basis. We are possibly the largest running club in Wales with around 250 members.
Les Croupiers Running Club has a genuinely broad spectrum of runners. We have beginners through to elite competitive runners and we all mix in together. There may be differences in pace but what all members share is a commitment to the Club. We would like you to be an integral part of Les Croupiers Running Club and continue as a member; and hope you will make an input into the Club.
Yes if you’ve paid your subscription due on the 1st April every year. The subscription consists of two elements, the Club subscription and an affiliation fee to Welsh Athletics Ltd (WAL), the governing body. Members are expected to pay subscriptions promptly and not involve the membership secretary in unnecessary chasing of debt.
Yes we do. From 10 minute to sub 5 minute milers, Les Croupiers welcomes all comers and values all contributions equally.
Les Croupiers Running Club meets every Thursday evening at Llandaff Rugby Club (located on Western Avenue next to UWIC), with training runs commencing from 7:00 p.m. with a mass start. The purpose of Club Night is to train in company through the ‘Club Run’, and afterwards to socialise and obtain information in the club lounge and bar.
The Club places great emphasis on members regularly participating in both of these elements. Many members meet at other times of the week on a regular basis for other training sessions. Details of these sessions can be found on the Club website http://www.lescroupiersrunningclub.org and by socialising on a Thursday evening.
The aim of the club run is to run together. For some runners this may mean a fast paced training run. For others, it may be an opportunity to run socially or steady state in company. We welcome all of these motivations but we want as many members to run together as possible. This helps to ensure that we offer a true ‘club run’ and perhaps more importantly, that we all get back safely and at roughly the same time. Club runners can then use the changing facilities together and enjoy the food, drink and club announcements (‘Les Croups’ have an enviable reputation for its social side).
Runners meet from 6.30pm onwards at Llandaff Rugby Club. The run starts at 7pm as a mass start.
Prior to the run starting we will gather those present into groups based on which distance they intend running that evening ~ 5 miles; 7 miles or 10 miles. We will then aim to identify paced groups as required. If you are coming along for the first time we advise that you turn up between 6.45 – 6.50pm and please make yourself known, we will arrange for someone of a similar pace to run with you and show you the route. Please note, we will never leave anyone to run on their own (unless they feel a particular wish to be solitary).
In order to add some variety and structure to the runs here are some suggested sessions for those interested – these aren’t mandatory but are there for those who want to use them. An example of these sessions is 10 x 1 min hard + 1 min easy, the schedule for the sessions can be found here, if we have a big event on the weekend then it is likely that that week will be a normal run.
Les Croupiers Running Club has a winter route and a summer route (from when the clocks go forward to around mid-September) for its Club Run. Winter and summer routes are approximately 7 miles and can be extended to 10 miles or cut short to 5 miles when necessary (this often helps to ensure that we all finish at a similar time).
Les Croupiers providing club runs since 1982……
Monday Hill/speed reps:
These are held near Roath Park during the Winter months and on the ‘measured mile’ in Sofia Gardens during the Summer. These vary week to week, full timetables can be found on the Club website.
Track speed sessions:
Many members find these a useful part of their training and utilise the Cardiff International Sports Stadium at Leckwith. These are much easier and more fun if undertaken in a group, ask around the Club to find if there is a suitable group training at a convenient time for you.
This is a National free 5k timed run available to all. Club members helped found the Cardiff parkrun and many assist and take part every week. The run takes place every Saturday at 9 am. Further details can be found on their website http://www.parkrun.org.uk/cardiff
Many members use Sundays as their ‘long’ run of the week. This can vary in distance depending on what events people are training for. Regular runs are made on a Sunday morning usually pre-arranged through the online forum to agree a start time and distances.
Yes there is a risk of injury in changing your training strategy and trying something different. However, provided you introduce the new discipline into your training regime gradually and incorporate good practice, you should minimise the risk.
A wise move would be to exploit the immense experience that exists within the club and ask other members e.g. Mick McGeoch, Phil Cook, Mel James, Yvonne Bullen, Clare Johnson, Katie Beecher, Liz Ashton.....(The list is endless). There are also groups of varying ability that train on different nights at the Cardiff International Stadium. Training as part of a group provides many motivational 'spin offs'.
The benefits are dependent entirely on what you want to put into it.
How hard do you want/need to train?
What are your goals?
A major boost is ..... speed.
It is perfectly safe to run at night, provided if running alone you keep to well-lit areas or you train with a group of people.
When running in the dark, wherever you are, it is advisable to wear reflective clothing, so that you can be seen by drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. Commonly worn reflective clothing includes flourescent hats, jackets, gloves and sashes. These can be purchased in specialist running shops, online and in most reputable sports shops.
Even if you are running in a well-lit area and are dressed head to foot in reflective gear, you are still extremely vulnerable in the dark, and therefore it is extremely inadvisable to wear headphones.
The Club organises three championship race series each year. There are trophies for up to the first four in each age/gender category depending on the number taking part. Members are encouraged to especially support these events.
Long Course Championship:
Normally from distances from five miles to marathon. You need to run at least 6 races from 12 events. The events selected are all held on weekends and are spread across the year. The format may vary slightly year to year.
Short Course Championship:
Normally from distances from two to five miles. You need to run at least 5 races from 10 events. The events selected are all (usually) held in the evening throughout the summer months. The format may vary slightly year to year.
Normally distances from 4 miles to 16 miles, mainly shorter than 10 miles. You need to run at least 5 from about 13 races. The events selected are all held from January to December, at locations from west Wales to the west of England. Varied terrain, but nothing too seriously difficult. The format may vary slightly year to year.
Between October and March the Club participates in the Gwent Cross-Country League Championship Series (covering a catchment area of South Wales and the South-West of England) which consists of five fixtures each season. The Club has an excellent record in this League, is heavily involved in the administration, and regularly has the largest turn-out of any Club at a fixture. All members, of whatever standard, are encouraged to turn out for fixtures. If you’ve never run cross-country before take time to ask other members what you need to bring and wear for these events.
Please let the Club Captains know, as soon as possible before the fixtures if you wish to take part.
Les Croupiers Running Club organises six events during the year. As a member of the Club it is asked that you participate, or assist in officiating, in as many of these events as possible.
January. Handicap 10 Miles.
Club members only. In most races you all start together and the fastest return home first and the slowest last. In this race you are given a starting time based on your performances from the previous year (e.g. Someone expected to take 75 minutes starts at 8.45 a.m., a 60 minute runner at 9.00 a.m.) And in theory everyone finishes at 10 o’clock. Afterwards we hold our Club AGM which we encourage people to attend. (Note our AGM’s normally have around one hundred people attend and are not boring and stuffy. We also present the trophies for the Road Race and Off Road Championships).
March. Barry 40 Miles.
Held at Jenner Park, Barry, 161 laps of the track in total. Fortunately we request members to assist in lap-counting for this event rather than run. However, every year a few brave souls do race for 4,5,6 hours or more. Mick McGeoch would be delighted to tell you more about this event, or see the section about it on the web site.
June. The Castles Relay.
Our flagship event and like no other event in the British Isles. Don’t miss it! 50+ teams of 20 runners, 20 stages of approximately 10 miles from Caernarfon to Cardiff over one weekend. We race a Men’s, Ladies’, and Veterans’ team in the event, plus provide a formidable army of organisers, marshals, timekeepers, start and finish crews. Everyone in the Club should be (and is needed) to be involved in this event in some way.
August. 5 Kilometres Time Trial.
Club members only. Held on the paths around Pontcanna Fields. Runners set off at 30 second intervals. It’s you against the clock in the ‘race of truth’.
August. Summer Sizzler.
This is a relatively new event started in 2010. A Wednesday evening late summer 5k utilising the parkrun course followed by a BBQ at Llandaff Rugby Club.
December/January. Old Father Time 5 Miles.
A veterans only event, held on the paths around Pontcanna Fields. (Men & Ladies over 35 years old).
Yes. Sort of. Sometimes.
For those who find that running is not enough for them we have a healthy multisport section, that organises some triathlon/duathlon training in the forms of swimming sessions (pool and open water), cycling and anything else that could be covered under the term multisport.
A growing number of members exploit heir speedwork sessions (or their natural talent in field events) and compete at both indoor and outdoor events throughout the year.
Once you have paid your subscription you need to complete 3 races as Les Croupiers Running Club to earn your vest. There is no charge for this, but replacement vests and other Club kit is available to purchase.
The Club Committee organise and administer Les Croupiers Running Club. A new constitution was agreed at the last AGM and can be on the Club web site. Les Croupiers Running Club committee consists of 6 nominated roles together with 6 general members. The current roles are:
- Deputy chairman
- Membership secretary
- Club Captain
- General members x6
There are many others who assist in the running of the Club and act as advisors to the committee. Assistance is always sought to help with the day to day running of the Club.