About The Campbelltown Joggers Club
The Fishers Ghost Fun Run was already in existence in 1975 as part of the Campbelltown Festival and many local enthusiasts provided official assistance in this inaugural event. The time was ready for a jogging club to emerge. These were the so called hey days of jogging when literally thousands of sweaty head band wearing contestants entered fun runs. It was the era of the fun runners. The Fishers Ghost Fun Run was therefore the forerunner to the formation of the Campbelltown Joggers Club.
The Campbelltown Joggers Club (CJC) evolved following an inaugural meeting between running enthusiasts at the Civic Centre on December 6, 1975. The club’s first President was Ross Field. The first club run was held on Sunday morning 11th January 1976 commencing from Bradbury Oval. This tradition has endured continuously over the past 35 years and still stands firmly as the main weekly club run.
Ever since its inception the club has organised the Fishers Ghost Fun Run on behalf of the Campbelltown City Council’s Festival of Fisher’s Ghost. This fun run has seen a few different venues from Ingleburn Army Camp, to Menangle Road, to Mt. Annan Gardens and more recently to the beautiful and safer grounds of The University of Western Sydney. Organisation of this event remains as our gift to the community.
From the outset the club established a series of monthly handicap races from which the Club Champion would emerge. Each competitor would be awarded points for every race completed, based on his finishing position after corrected time. At the end of the series, the points would be tallied for each runner allowing the runner to drop his worst two performances. This handicap system also has endured over the years and remains essentially intact to this very day! It has also been a proud tradition of the CJC and Club Champion a much-coveted goal, as is the red singlet-prize for handicap winners. To date there have been 33 champions. Club membership in 1976 was $1 ($2 for families).
During the inaugural days the club attracted mainly male runners where wives were not expected to run with “…the husbands or children, but should endeavour to make a family day out by being in attendance for a picnic or barbeque after the run has been completed” (Albie Thomas’ comments in the Campbelltown and Ingleburn News Mon 22nd December, 1975). We may laugh at such comments now particularly in light of the fact that our club champion for the years 2000, 2001 and 2002 were all women!
The CJC still has two members who have run continuously with the club since its outset- Mike Limbrey and Alan Banfield – with both having completed over 200 handicaps!
In 1996 Graham Butler compiled all known race results, which formed the basis of the first book of history for the club. It was entitled “20 Years Campbelltown Joggers Still Running Strong.” In more recent years this compilation of race results was entered into a database and has been refined by Bill Thompson.
The Club Today
From its inception the club has had an amazing array of healthy committees and capable presidents – a measure of the calibre and discipline of its members. In 2001 Margaret and Peter Knott conceived and orchestrated a 25 Year Silver Anniversary Celebration which brought together past and present members. Like a roller coaster ride it was a thrill a minute, cementing tradition and celebrating the clubs strong continuous existence.
Today the Club boasts around 60 members. Not all are runners and not all compete regularly in the handicap series. Members vary in age from around 18 years to 80 years, both male and female. In recent years there has been an increasing number of keen younger (under 25years) members both male and female, as well as an increasing number of female members overall.
The main competitive focus of the club calendar is still the traditional series of nine monthly 10km handicap races run from February to October from which the club champion is derived. Club membership now costs $25 per year ($10 for children, $55 for family).
There is a huge diversity of speed in our members. They range from those who can complete a 10km race in around 32 minutes to those who finish in around 60+ minutes. Whilst some runners are extremely competitive, completing regular training sessions and competing in a wide range of fun runs, others have less competitive goals such as general fitness, social contact, losing some excess weight or simply seeking a feeling of well being.
The main club run starts traditionally from Bradbury Oval on Sundays at 7.15am sharp. The Sunday run (or walk) can be anywhere from 5km to 15km but is usually above 10km for the more serious runners. Other runs and training sessions are also available throughout the week. Most regular runners run at least 3-4 times per week with often associated activities such as mountain bike riding, road riding, swimming, walking or a trip to the gym interspersed for variety.
Our club run calendar is also filled with a number of Fun Runs, which many of members compete in. Such events include the Penrith Australia Day Fun Run, the Six Foot Track, the Wollongong Fitness Five, the Canberra Half marathon, the Gold Coast Marathon, the Sutherland to Surf, the City to Surf, Camden Relay for Life, and the Thredbo National Runners Week just to name a few. Fun Runs these days fortunately cater well for walkers so all family members can compete.
About 10 years ago Margaret Knott was instrumental in introducing a walking group within the club. Initially comprising of the wives of runners, this group has diversified in composition enormously. On Sundays the group follows the set running route of the runners, but overall accomplishes a slightly shortened distance for the morning.
CJC is an extremely relaxed, friendly and social club. Following Sunday runs, the club provides coffee and morning tea. This activity provides members with the opportunity to relax and chat. Whilst much chat initially focuses on running (which understandably is our main common interest), the conversations drift off into all directions. Some members have been seen chatting away untill just on lunchtime! Many members have formed lasting friendships amongst members of the CJC.
Today the club also plays a key role in implementing the now very popular local event - the Mt. Annan Challenge Walk. For some members club activities have become a way of life and where all members of a family run, they compete and engage in club activities together.
Various members from time to time have organised different activities and social events. Some of these have included-
Support groups for CJC marathon and Trailwalker competitors.
Social walking hikes up the Blue Mountains, around Sydney Harbour, Bulli and locally.
Boogie boarding expeditions (with flippers) down the Georges River Gorge.
Bus shopping trips to the warehouses around Sydney.
Restaurant nights at places such as Thai Chillis, Cirros, Casellas and Ashi Japanese Tepenyaki.
White water rafting at Penrith.
Relay for Life weekend.
Barbeques following special events such as City to Surf and Sydney Half Marathon.
TAB 2000 Relay for the Olympics at Homebush.
Manning drink stations during the Sydney 2000 Olympics and Paralympics.
Benefits of Running and Belonging to a Club
Running is cheap and easy to learn.
Running increases aerobic capacity, which is great for the heart and helps with fitness for other sports.
Running is convenient – you can run almost anywhere, at any time and in most conditions
Running can help you loose weight.
Running makes you feel good – not only physiologically from the “runners high” endorphins but also from a feeling of personal self-satisfaction after achieving goals as well as encouragement from fellow runners. This seems to positively affect other aspects of one’s life.
Running is known to reduce mild stress.
Running is flexible in that it allows you to run at your own pace whenever it suits.
Running is for everyone, young or old, large or small. Initially a clearance with your GP and a slow progressive increase in training are recommended.
Fun runs allow competitors to brush tails with the elite in running, unlike many others team sports.
Running allows you to set easily defined and achievable goals. Once established this provides a type of self discipline.
Running makes you more energetic during everyday life, particularly as you become fitter.
Running lowers the risk of developing major lifestyle diseases including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
Running provides one with the opportunity to “clear the head” and think about the day.
Club members provide security and safety for others.
Club running is a great way to increase your motivation.
There is nearly always someone to run with as there is usually someone running at your own pace.
Information on all matters to do with running is freely shared amongst runners – information such as training programmes, injury prevention, the right running shoes to wear, stretching regimes, the value of warm-ups and cool-downs as well as the therapeutic value of manual therapy and osteopathy.