A RUNNING group that was organised by the former Sweatshop in Woking town centre has continued and thrived since the sports store closed two years ago and has celebrated its 300th run.

Former Sweatshop group members decided to set up the No Sweat running community, which operates from the town centre on Mondays and Thursdays at 6.30pm, covering five to seven kilometres on each session.

Jason Tutty, one of the organisers said: “The Sweatshop gave us some notice that they were shutting and during that time we started looking at other running communities but there wasn’t really anything in Woking town centre.

“Four of us chatted with each other and we thought that nothing was stopping us turning up and carrying on. We agreed to start up and continue the running community.

“It took a few weeks for people to realise that we were still running so we got some of the original Sweatshop people, then over the two-year period we got a lot more.”

No Sweat now has around 120 people on its Facebook group and 100 on its Strava group, with some on both.

“There are 40 to 50 people who come occasionally and on any given run there are about 12 people,” Jason said.

The runners meet outside Araceli's Mexican restaurant, which allows them to store their bags.

It is much more of a social group than the Sweatshop version.

“We have a run once every two months where we stop at the Maybury Inn. We’ve got much deeper friendships, with some of the people playing tennis with each other or doing other activities.”

The sense of camaraderie was enhanced during the pandemic lockdowns when No Sweat had “running bubbles” of six people each, to ensure social distancing.

No Sweat is free to join and is for runners of all abilities.

On top of the twice-weekly short runs, Jason and a few other members are doing longer routes on Sundays to train for the Brighton Marathon in April.

The group will be holding a free nine-week “couch to 5k” programme for beginner runners. It will start on 21 April at 6:30pm.

* FOR more information, visit www.nosweatrunningcommunity.net.