Farnham Runners welcomed two guest coaches and members were able to learn from their combined wealth of experience in very different fields of the running world.

Mike Gratton, winner of the 1983 London Marathon and founder of 2:09 Events – named after his winning time! – visited one of the club’s Monday evening training sessions at the Military Stadium in Aldershot.

Around 40 members were enthralled by Mike’s knowledge of running, gained from years of experience and competition.

The session began with the all-important warm-up drills focusing on run-specific movements, followed by the main session of mixed-pace running.

With time running out, the advice was to use the walk back to the car as a gradual cool down, followed by a warm bath and stretches!

Mike brought along one of his colleagues from 2:09 Events who briefed us on forthcoming events such as the South Downs Trail half marathon and 10k, Denbies North Downs half marathon and 10k and the Bacchus half marathon and 10k – of particular interest on account of the mention of wine as well as water at the aid stations!

Mike is a regular guest at Farnham Runners and he always receives a very warm welcome from our members.

Over the past year, the club has also welcomed international coach and writer Shane Benzie, who has been leading a series of his very popular training camps.

Shane travels the world, working with the very best elite runners and coaches to observe and analyse the way they run, learning from them and passing their techniques on to others.

He returned to the club to lead an intermediate training camp. For more than four hours and with the benefit of video analysis, he was able to scrutinise our running style and suggest means of improvement which we are now putting into practice before the more advanced session in the autumn.

Another beginners’ class planned for the same day has already been filled, such is his popularity.

We feel very privileged to welcome such an esteemed coach to our club, and the feeling seems to be mutual – on leaving the club at the end of the session, Shane remarked Farnham Runners were one of his favourite places, high praise indeed from such a well-travelled coach!

Linda Tyler