Absolute Running (AR), on the face of it, is a running shop based in Gosport, Hampshire. However, saying it’s just a running shop would only be scratching the surface, the “tip of the iceberg” as it were. Their website sums up their approach, “We believe running should be fun and community focused”.
Since opening the shop in 2012, the father and son team of Nick and Harry Carter have developed their #community vision by hosting The Golden mile, a Summer 5K series and a weekly open invite to Wednesday’s 5.45 club that I attended last night. The 5.45 club “does what it says on the tin” with runners of all abilities and ages welcome to the midweek get together.
The shop had about 25 runners including Simon Hearnden from SGR’s and Sarah Beattie, a fellow Fareham Crusader. I don’t know Gosport that well so I used Portsmouth’s nearby Spinakker Tower (see below) as a visual guide to get my bearings. The tower is the tallest local building and is currently lit up with colourful lights.
As Nick gave his briefing of where we were running it was easy to see the appeal of the evening, low key, relaxed and with a really wide range of ages, oh and don’t forget the cake !! (see above). Two options were available with 3K, which struck me as a good distance if you were aiming for a 5K Park Run and a brisker 6K.
I chatted to Nick about why he’d started this group and his passion for spreading the “running word” which is clear to see for all. Simon’s group passed us and I decided to try and hold onto his pace what with the Victory 5 on Sunday. I talked briefly to quite a few friendly runners through the 6K, some were first timers like me, some where regular Gosport Road Runners. Our route was all lamp post lit pavements and no one disappeared into the distance.
On finishing, a group of us where outside the shop cooling down and offering words of encouragement to others as they arrived, we then joined the rest of the runners inside. As with the 5K series that I ran in the Summer everyone was asked if they’d like to stay for a while rather than just heading off straight away. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay for too long and I certainly missed out on the cake, wow !!
In summary, a refreshing alternative, a ….”one size fits all” fun run that is open to all. I would certainly recommend it to anyone. All credit to AR’s Nick Carter with his #community running.