He was soon mens XC captain and hardly missed a Kent League, County Champs, South of England or National (inc Vet events) for a dozen years. The club also competed in the historic South of the Thames XC Champs in a vain attempt to match the original TW Harriers in the late 19th Century who posted three consecutive team victories.
As winter turned to summer and racing turned to road and track, Allan embraced both and from the middle of the pack tried his hand at every distance from the 100m to marathon, including the superb Seven Sisters, now the Beachy Head marathon, which remains one of his favourites.
In 1999 Allan was involved with creating the 10 mile cross country classic known as the Eridge Park 10 which last year was voted ‘No.1 Race in the UK’ by Runner’s World. As Race Director he is now heavily involved in organising the 12th race on 12 September 2010.
One feature of the Harriers is the long Sunday Run which Allan took over the mantle of organiser some years ago and has now transferred the start and finish to the Hub. This means that (nearly) every Sunday throughout the year at 8.30am a group of Harriers and guests depart from the shop to head for the footpaths and trails that surround the area. The circular routes vary from 10-20 miles and seldom achieve anything near ‘race pace’. It’s more about seeing the fantastic countryside in a sociable group, stopping to appreciate the views (getting your breath back!) and occasionally challenging each other to the top of the next hill without stopping. The routes can be seen at the shop.
The underlying ethos of the Running Hub is to bring this wealth of experience to provide contemporary guidance and advice on running kit, which is carefully selected from respected brands to give a good cross-section for both experienced and beginner alike.
Running Hub’s contacts throughout the local clubs can be very useful to those new to the sport or just new to the area. Many runners can be put off approaching a club for fear of ‘not being good enough’ and thus miss out on what could be the most influential move to improvement you can make. We are lucky in Tunbridge Wells having a group like Sarah’s Runners which is led by another Harrier, elite runner and triathlete, director of the very successful Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon, Sarah Russell. For nearly four years she has encouraged beginners to take part in a gentle group process of improvement providing support and guidance in those tentative few months before confidence starts to kick in.
You can be sure of personal attention, knowledgeable advice, enthusiastic support and time to choose when you visit the shop.