When you hear the phrase “community spirit” a number of traits come to mind ….. energy, willingness, pride and teamwork. All of these attributes can be seen when you visit a GosVegas running session whether it be Wednesday at 5.45pm or as I did this week, an 8am Sunday Breakfast Club.
The GosVegas running community has a far wider reach than just its base in Gosport because it draws in like minded people from both local running clubs and parkruns. So, whether you belong to an affiliated club or whether you’ve been swept up with the phenomenon that parkrun has become, these two friendly and free opportunities are well worth a visit.
The catalyst behind this all inclusive offering of positivity is Nick Carter, who’s had quite an impact on our running community. The principle reason for me writing this post is quite simply to spread the word and encourage more people to tap into their spirit.
The Sunday Breakfast Club offers an hours worth of running followed by a chance to unwind in the Bayside café. Located in Stokes Bay this means free parking until 10am, the café as an HQ and plenty of scope to run.
On arrival a bracing wind was blowing in off the Solent and as thirty of us gathered in the car park there was a sense of amusement as to the speed we’d be running with the wind behind us. Conversely, Stokes Bay and Gosport may be flat but when you’re running against winds like this it almost feels like hill work !! So, we were in for a good work out.
As well as Nick, I’d met Kim, Emma and Nicky from Gosport Road runners before we set off. Nicky gave me a rough idea of the route that we’d follow just before Nick asked us to gather for a group photo.
Having our photo taken at the beginning of the run was another “inclusive” touch. Naturally the group would split up during the run and some people would jump into their cars as soon as they’d finished but, regardless of your pace, we all felt part of the session by being included in the group photo.
As we followed the coast down to the golf course I chatted and introduced myself to Paul, Nickie and Faye. We all commented on the glorious view, what with the Isle of Wight as the backdrop and the white crested waves that were being blown up by the wind.
As we rounded the Gillkicker Fort I chatted with Fareham Crusaders Sarah and Nick. From half way on I ran with Faye and we soon found out that we had a mutual running friend she works with, we’d both served on the committees of our running clubs and we’d both run similar races.
The route wound its way along the sea wall and then back through more residential roads. Nick appeared at the bottom of Jellico Avenue to point us in the right direction and before you knew it we were battling against the wind and heading back towards the café.
I clearly wasn’t expecting a photo on arrival because even though I smiled and gave a thumbs up I managed to have my eyes closed …. ha ha !!
I was a little pressed for time so my visit to the café was fairly short but I was there long enough to chat with two more runners and marvel at the breakfasts that were being served. The nautical theme of the traditional breakfasts amused me, what with it starting with a dingy, increasing in size to an IOW Ferry and then the largest offering was … you guessed it, a “Titanic” full English.
So, in summary I chatted to more people that I didn’t know than I did know which, in its self, sums up their running community spirit. In this day and age of mobile phones it’s great to actually chat with like minded people and experience a sense of togetherness.
Thank you Nick and your welcoming GosVegas runners. I’d definitely recommend popping by and as a famous action film start once said …… “I’ll be back”.
Enjoy your running and thanks for reading.