Bideford AAC, locally known as the Blues, first began in 1870 as a gymnastic club and in 1897 the rowing section was born. It wasn’t until 1980 that Geoff Fanson and Barry White founded the present day Harriers running section, both men are still actively involved in the club and that the club membership continues to grow. The club also has its own resident cricket and skittles teams, showing Bideford AAC is more than a running and rowing club.
The Harriers are affiliated to the South of England Athletic Association, England Athletics and the Association of Running Clubs. The rowers are affiliated to the West of England Amateur Rowing Association (WEARA) and partnered with Kingsley School (Gre) Rowing Club.
Bideford AAC is extremely proud of its reputation for being a friendly and family orientated fun club; a club where children and adults of all abilities can enjoy athletics, whatever their standard. Our membership consists of a wide range of ages from 8 to 80 years old with a mix of both male and female runners. The club is very cosmopolitan and our adult members enjoy many social events during the year.
Bideford AAC is run on a voluntary basis with all coaches, officials, committee members and bar staff giving their time for free; without them, club members and their families the club would not be the success it is today. The Blues are lucky to have an enthusiastic and loyal membership who work (and play) hard.
Please get in touch if you are interested in coaching for Bideford AAC, or a parent or member who is willing to help out with the club, events or bar rota.
Clubhouse & facilities
The clubhouse is equipped with a bar, fitness equipment, changing rooms, toilets, showers and games room. The bar is open most evenings and the prices are very reasonable, any profits go towards the running of the club.
Bideford AAC owns the clubhouse and the various sections pay their annual subscriptions to the club which in turn insures the building and looks after the property maintenance as well as running the bar and the club’s minibus.
The Harriers organise 3 major annual events, the biggest is the Bideford Half Marathon in March which attracts runners from all over the UK. A couple of months later is the Bideford 10k, another popular race as the course is virtually flat so perfect for personal bests. In November is the Bideford 10 Miler which extends the route of the 10k – again excellent for pbs. Every year the club makes contributions to local charities from money raised from these races.
Throughout the year we hold a number of member only events including:
- New Years Day Two Bridges run to shake off the effects of the previous nights’ celebrations
- Good Friday Relays around Bideford park where every runner wins a prize
- Summer Handicap Series run over 6 races on the same demanding course
- The Pub Run, a fun-filled event raising money for charity
The club also participates in other events during the year such as the Westward Cross-Country League and the North Devon Relays when we host one of the races each year.
All these events take a lot of planning and organisation and are made possible by club members and their families helping out with marshalling, timing, drink stations and food and drink to name just a few. Race volunteers are always needed so please get in touch if you would like to help out.