Runners reach 100 landmark and vow to keep up the pace

Members of the club after reaching the landmark 100th run

Members of the club after reaching the landmark 100th run - Credit: Archant

As people dust off their trainers and pledge to lose those extra Christmas pounds, one running club in Stoke Newington already has a head start.

Andrew Wallen and Jessika Barcynski of the Lion's Running Club

Andrew Wallen and Jessika Barcynski of the Lion's Running Club - Credit: Archant

The Lion Running Club last week reached a landmark 100 consecutive Wednesdays pounding the streets of Hackney, with at least one runner clocking up 10km.

The club was set up almost two years ago by two locals of The Lion pub – Mathew Jeary and Andrew Wallen.

Mathew said: “I had just hit 40 and taken up ultra running to try and out-run death.

“I bumped into Andrew in the pub who was nursing a beer and a sore heart after the end of a relationship.

“He asked to come along on my next training run and the club was born. I am still getting older and he’s still single but at least we are fitter.”

Jessika Barcynski, 28, is another member of the Lion Running Club and is proud of their achievement.

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She said: “It’s an inclusive club that includes ultra runners right through to first time runners. It definitely shows that London, and Hackney for that matter, can be a friendly place.”

“We are proud there has never been a Wednesday so far when someone hasn’t run. Even if, like last year when New Year’s Day fell on a Wednesday, at least one person will save the day.

“We always have proof of the run from a running app which we post on the Facebook group each week.”

After hitting the 100-run mark, Jessika feels there is no reason for the club not to reach 200.

She said: “It’s difficult to see why we won’t reach the next landmark as someone always makes sure to run.

“Knowing this and working as a group is also good for giving each person that extra incentive to exercise.”

Members set off from the Lion in Stoke Newington Church Street at 7.30pm, usually taking an hour to finish and making sure to change the route to see the varying bright lights of Hackney.

This year though, members of the club will not be exclusively tying up their trainer laces on a Wednesday evening.

Seven are set to embark on the Seville Marathon in February. Jessika said: “As well as having lots of fun, we also like to compete in races.

“Many in the club have run the Hackney Half and Seville means some of us will be doing extra runs around London on weekends too.”

Anyone wanting to join the group, can contact the Lion Running Club Facebook group or on Twitter at @LRCN16.

Jessika added: “Absolutely anyone and everyone is welcome to join.

“It’s so nice to have a group of friends who have a common interest in keeping fit as well as going for a pint or two after.”