A Southwark running club responsible for nine marriages and three babies is now opening London’s only café-bar for runners.
After having to move base eight times in eight years, London City Runners decided to take the plunge and secure the lease for a railway arch in Druid Street, Bermondsey, to set up their own permanent headquarters.
Founder Tim Navin-Jones, 39, has poured his life savings into the venture, which will be used as a base for the club as well as a running-themed café-bar.
The space will be open to the whole community, including both runners and non-runners, and will also host workshops and sessions such as massage and physiotherapy.
Speaking to the News, Tim, who started London City Runners in 2010 after moving to Southwark from Leeds, said: “When I came to London I was training for a marathon and looked up local running clubs but there were just gyms or running clubs miles from here and I just couldn’t believe there wasn’t one more central so I decided to set one up.
“The club has gone from a few runners leaving their bags in my flat to having 9,000 members over the years – including nine marriages and three babies.
“The idea is we all go for a run and have a chat and a drink and socialise afterwards.
“The problem we had was we kept doubling in size and the pubs where we would meet said we needed to move on so I thought there’s no café/bar that’s themed for running like there is for cycling and took the plunge.
“The club has always been completely free and at the moment I can just about support myself but essentially I’m using my life savings so I’ve now also started crowdfunding and lots of members have been really generous.”
Tim, who runs London City Runners alongside Kerry Jones, said the café-bar was expected to open by the end of July.
“Everyone is welcome, you don’t have to be a runner at all,” he said.
“We’ve got lots of ideas and are planning on having all sorts of things such as osteopath, physiotherapy and massage sessions, and we’ll have a board up with all our upcoming events and will probably get a treadmill in there to look at gait analysis.”
To support London City Runners’ crowdfunding campaign, visit: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/a-home-for-london-city-runners-sports-coffee–2#/
To find out more about the club, visit: www.londoncityrunners.com