Swindon Striders road and trail running club are literally a club for all seasons, as they run come rain or shine, and are open to all standards of runners.

Mark Jones secretary of the Swindon Striders says that the club aims to incorporate all runners of all abilities. They stride out with two club runs each week.

Along with the obvious health benefits of joining a running club, Mark says it is also a good place to meet new friends, in fact he met his partner, Samantha Roylance at Striders.

“We do social activities including barbecues, and curry nights out, Christmas parties and one of our members, Kelly Harvey, is in an Abba tribute band, so we go and support her,’’ said Mark.

The Striders also help out at other clubs’ running events acting as marshals for the Park Runs at Lydiard, and manning the check points at the Marlborough Down Challenge in May.

One of the toughest runs for Mark was taking on the Marlborough Downs Challenge.

“It is 33 plus miles - running around the Downs,’’ he said.

There are three sub groups of runners in the Striders.

The first is for those who can run a 11 or 12-minute mile. It is for those who are just getting into running.

The second group is for those who run a nine-minute mile. They are the middle set of runners, from those training as a bit of loner, to those working towards half marathon goals and want more practice.

The third group is for what Mark calls the pretty quick. It is for the local elite athletes, the competition runners.

The club was set up in 1995 with 12 members. They now boast between 100 and 120 members. The runners come in all shapes and sizes and all ages including Dave Fouracre who is in his 70s and picked up a trophy at the Swindon 10km run at Wroughton airfield.

“It is all inclusive,’’ said Mark.”We want to get away from the slight that we are an exclusive club only for elite runners. We offer training and encouragement to everyone.’’

The training on offer includes Hill Repetition - running up and down Croft Hill.

“You push yourself to improve your time and hill work is imperative for running, it strengthens your whole body and gives you a strong core and upper body,’’ said Mark.

Also there is training in speed work, which means running from point to point in a given time. The Lydiard Park weekend runs help with speed training.

Striders have also competed in festivals abroad, running in Paphos as part of the Logicom Cyprus Marathon, Europe and Bilbao.

“We meet up with other clubs, some from Wiltshire. We mix with the running community wherever we are,’’ said Mark. “It is always friendly rivalry.’’

The annual membership fees are £33 for new members.

Weekly club runs are on a Monday from the Oasis at North Star and the other on a Friday from the Link Centre in West Swindon. Meet from 6.45pm, which allows for route checking and chitchat before heading out in pace-based groups at 7pm, 7.05pm and 7.10pm.

Club night routes vary in distance from five to eight miles - always with a short cut option.

“We encourage all Striders on the six to eight mile runs. They usually take from one hour to one and a half hours, but no-one is every left alone. Everyone can run at their own pace and there is always a back pacer,’’ said Mark. For more details visit http://swindonstriders95.wixsite.com/swindonstriders or https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=swindon%20striders&epa=SEARCH_BOX