THE latest route provided for runners by Mark Jones of Swindon Striders starts and finishes at the Croft Sports Centre in Old Town. Prominent landmarks such as this are useful beginnings and endings to runs. The route covers roughly five miles.

From the sports centre head out on to Marlborough Road towards Coate Water.

Turn right and on to Downs View Road

From Downs View Road, a left turn will take you into the Polo Ground.

Cut across the Polo Ground heading towards Coate Water

Cut through the woods at the end of the Polo Ground until you come to a tarmac path at Coate Water, and then make a right turn.

Now make sure to follow the path until you reach the pitch and putt on the left hand side.

Turn left at this point and follow the lake all the way round, keeping the water to your.

Continue in this direction until you eventually get to Broome Manor Lane.

Taking care because of the traffic, follow the road until you get to a gate on the left.

This leads to a footpath which will in turn take you to Broome Manor golf course.

Remain on this path - and then on the service road which will lead you to Pipers Way.

Turn right and make for the brow of then hill. On reaching the brow, take a left into the woods.

Finally, follow the path back to the Marriott Hotel and then in turn back to Croft Sports Centre.


Road and trail running club Swindon Striders prides itself on being an organisation for all runners - and ready to meet every whim of the British climate.

Runs take place rain or shine, and are open to people of all abilities.

There are three sub-groups of runners in the Striders.

The first is for those who can run a mile in 11 or 12 minutes, or in other words for people who are probably just getting started in running.

The second group is for people capable of running a nine-minute mile. They are the middle set of runners and range from people training in a fairly solitary way to those needing practice as they work towards goals such as a half-marathon.

The third group is composed of runners described by Swindon Striders Secretary Mark Jones as the ons who are pretty quick. This group includes local elite athletes - competition runners.

When the club was set up 24 years ago, it had a dozen members, but the figure is now somewhere between 100 and 120.

In addition to falling into various categories of ability, members have a broad range of ages and backgrounds.

Member Dave Fouracre, for example, is in his seventies and picked up a trophy at the Swindon 10k event held at Wroughton airfield.

Monday evening club nights now include a 5K to 10K course from the Croft Sports’ Centre or the Oasis. They are for people who can run 5K and want to get better and be able to tackle 10k or more.

The course is free and open to anyone who wants to improve their running.

Aside from advice on running, people who join can expect a thriving social scene.

Mark, who met partner Samantha Roylance thanks to the club, said: “We do social activities including barbecues curry nights out, Christmas parties - and one of our members, Kelly Harvey, is in an Abba tribute band, so we go and support her.’’

The Striders also help out at other clubs’ running events.

Members have acted as marshals for the Park Runs at Lydiard, for example, and staffed the checkpoints at the Marlborough Downs Challenge last May.

For further information about the club, visit For more details visit or the Swindon Striders Facebook presence.