One of the best running clubs of Wales will open a free course for absolute beginners

In January, the Canton Chargers will offer a six week training to take new starters to run their first 5k.

The Canton Chargers running in the middle of the night.

First-time runners in Canton looking to do their first 5k event will be able to learn from one of the best running groups in Wales for free.

On 7 January, the Canton Chargers running club will start a six-week course for people who would like to take their first steps in the running world.

“The biggest thing we want to have out of this is people who didn’t think they could do 5k being able to do it. So, we don’t charge because we don’t want cost to be another barrier to people coming along,” said Amy Hill, one of the founders and trainer of the Canton Chargers.

Hill says that the course gets people from walking to running five kilometres in six weeks. “Once they have done that, they can join our Monday night group, which is really nice.”

Amy Hill, Canton Chargers, running
At the centre of the photograph, Amy Hill, 33, founder of the Canton Chargers, after the Monday night running session.

Moreover, according to Hill, this could be the necessary first steps for beginners for a major running challenge like the Cardiff Half Marathon.

Next year, the Canton Chargers also will offer a plan for people wishing to run this long distance event which lasts 14 and 16 weeks of training depending on the experience of the runner.

“We get several emails a week from people who want to come to the club, but they are scared. They are worried about being too slow or being last,” said Hill.

Actually, their success is thanks to the preparation offered for major distance runners. “[At the beginning] we gave Chargers a more Half marathon focus. A lot of people heard about this and all of the sudden, we had a lot of people coming to us,” said Amy.

Born in the Chapter Art Centre in 2014 and with 450 followers on Facebook, this group gathers between 20 to 40 runners each Monday night in free sessions in the Llandaff fields to run between Canton, Riverside and Pontcanna public spaces.

“It’s an all abilities club, with runners of various levels of pace, distance and experience,” said Gray Hill, Amy’s husband and co-founder of the Canton Chargers.

According to the couple, one of the biggest motivations to do this was meet the increasing demand of the people to be more active and be more social at the same time.

Canton chargers stretching
The Canton Chargers at the end of the running session.


Amy says that, particularly in the winter time when is cold and dark, people do not want to run by themselves because they don’t necessarily feel safe, and be part of a group keep the training on track.

“[Training alone] If you don’t go out, no one will notice it, but if you don’t go to the club, then people will notice it,” said Amy.

All the information about the courses and Monday meetings can be found on the official website of the Canton Chargers.