This is the start of our story...

Athena all began in 2015, starting out with a pilot group of just 15

ladies.  Katie, the founder of Athena, was the Race Director for St Albans Half Marathon and was approached by some ladies who had been to the event to support friends and family and been inspired to give it a go themselves.  However, they couldn’t find anywhere locally to support them and hence the idea of Athena was formed. 

 

Katie qualified as a run leader and began taking sessions herself before taking on two local run-leaders in early 2016.  The first group of beginners graduated and started working their way towards 10K as new beginners started their journey.  Before we knew it the community started to grow.

 

2017 saw some changes for Athena, with a new structure to the programmes and new run-leaders joining the team, many of whom were members who had come through the beginners programme themselves.  By 2018 we introduced our Improvers Programme and began hosting social events, encouraging the community aspect of the club that we love so much.  

On our journey...

We are proud to have been awarded Run England Group of the Year at the England Athletics East Regional Volunteer Awards 2016, as well as the Innovation Award at St Albans City and District Sport Awards 2016.  We are also very proud of our many members who have gone on to achieve incredible goals, with many running Half Marathons and even Marathons.  A great moment was supporting 50 Athena ladies as they ran the St Albans Half Marathon in 2017 (in either the Half Marathon or 5K) - it felt like we had come full circle back to where it all began.

What matters most...

However, what we are most proud of is the welcoming, supportive environment that has been created.  When our ladies tell us that Athena has helped them find some ‘me time’, improved their mental health or find new lifelong friends, those are the achievements we are most proud of.  For us Athena isn’t just about learning to run, its about being part of a community.

The dreams...

We have an exciting year ahead as Athena continues to grow and develop.  We hope to reach even more ladies in St Albans and to spread our wings further afield.  We are looking to grow our community aspect even further, but most importantly we simply want to continue to provide a safe environment for ladies to learn to run with friends by their side. 

This is not the end of our story,

It is the start of our journey.

Come and be part of it!