Town and Country Harriers (TACH)

Town and Country Harriers (TACH) is an off-road running club dedicated to exploring the varied countryside around Bristol, in the West of England. Our members are a very diverse bunch. The one thing we have in common is a love of off-road running. We also organise and host local races.

TACH runners

Our regular runs are usually based from a pub within a thirty-minute drive of the centre of Bristol but we do make exceptions for particularly good pubs or especially scenic routes. You probably won't finish the run with clean shoes but we are convinced that running off-road is kinder to our joints than pounding pavements.

Although we do mix it up with town-based runs where the views or history makes it worthwhile. There is something exhilarating about running off-road under a starlit sky or splashing through the mud whilst being threatened by a thunderstorm. A run across grass lit by the evening sun or through the dappled shade of a woodland path, rain or shine, summer or winter, makes us feel that we truly deserve a pint and a chat in the pub before heading home.

The runs posted on the calendar on this page are open to non-members to try one or two runs before deciding whether to join the club. Please get in touch with our Membership Secretary if you would like to come along, just so we know to expect you and can answer any questions you may have.

We hope you can join us and look forward to seeing you on the trail sometime soon!


 

Membership

If you love running through fields and woodlands rather than pounding the pavements then TACH would welcome you as a member. The only requirement is a willingness to get your trainers muddy. We run regular and offer a variety of run lengths and routes. You won't have to keep up with the faster runners - or even the moderately fast ones - they return to the back of the group frequently. The runs usually include hills but it's OK to slow down or walk up them, especially as this gives the faster runners the chance to run up them twice!

Please note that in Winter we continue to run off-road using head torches and our runs remain off-road, whatever the weather.

Due to the distance, the terrain, and the night-time running, our runs are not suitable for complete beginners. We encourage liftshare groups so you don't need a car in order to join us.

Join TACH

We are open to new members. TACH Annual Subscription is only £10.00 (plus on-line administration fee). Membership gives you: Our periodic newsletter, Rough Running News. A chance to help to organise and marshal our Races. Cheaper race entry fees as affiliated members of the Association of Running Clubs. 10% discount on purchases from Bristol running shops Easy Runner, Up & Running Bristol, Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports and Moti. And 10% discount on sports massage from Charlotte Arter. Access to buy TACH branded sportswear and merchandise to show your TACH colours with pride in races and the pub.

Our members volunteer to lead a run from a any local location (often a pub), usually within a thirty-minute drive of the centre of Bristol. Run locations vary from mixed terrain runs within the city to hilly all off-road routes in the Mendips or Cotswolds. Sometimes, the route is made to fit a particular pub and sometimes we chose the pub to fit a particular route. We are becoming familiar with some of the finest examples Bristol and its environs have to offer. The run is led by a member who is familiar with the area and who can find the way back, even in the dark! Faster runners are expected to run ahead to a prominent landmark and then loop-back (or "sheepdog" in TACH parlance) for the slower runners so no one is left behind. Please note that in Winter we continue to run off-road using head torches and our runs remain off-road, whatever the weather. Hi-Viz is always highly recommended.

Everyone is encouraged to do their bit and to lead runs. It's great fun introducing people to your favourite run (and pub), but it’s not compulsory. If you need more information, chat to the RunMeister or some recent run leaders in the pub, and take a look at this guide.


 

Races

For many years, TACH has hosted a popular series of off road races. Forthcoming races are:

Purdown Pursuit - Enter here
Thursday 18th July 2024, Start Time: 19:15
RACE HQ: Countess Walk, Stapleton, Bristol, BS16 1EU
COURSE: A looping 10km of parkland and woodland. Lots of juicy little hills. View full course

Rowberrow Romp - 2023 Results
Thursday 5th September 2024 (provisional), Start Time: 19:00tbc
RACE HQ: The Swan Inn, Rowberrow, BS25 1QL. PARKING: Shipham Village Hall, BS25 1SG
COURSE: A challenging 10k-ish route of Mendip mud, strenuous climbs, fab views, and a thunderous descent, featuring the very best of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. View full course

Keynsham Dandy - 2023 Results
Autumn 2024 date tba
RACE HQ: The New Inn, 90 Bath Hill, BS31 1HN. PARKING: East Car Park, BS31 1HH
COURSE: About 12.5 miles, starting in Keynsham and including a welcome revival of the Compton Dando route, complete with stream! View full course

Butcombe Trail Ultra - More details
Saturday 26th April 2025
RACE HQ: The Swan Inn, Rowberrow, BS25 1QL
COURSE: A single day ultramarathon held on the Butcombe trail in the Mendip Hills. View full course


 

Club

Town and Country Harriers are committed to ensuring that all members and their guests can participate in club activities in an enjoyable and safe environment.

Club Constitution (2020)

Code of Conduct (Nov 2023)

Our current Club Committee is: Club Captain: George Hancu Chair: Nick Rickard Secretary: Hannah Tracey Treasurer: Jonny Riley Race Committee Chair: Fran Pratt Website and Tech: Tom Hunt Social Secretary: Emma Turner Membership Secretary: Martin Cott RunMeister: Tom Farman & Emily Griffiths KitMeister: Emma Pemberton CommsMeister & RRN: Tricia Allen & Sarah Smith

Current issue of the TACH Newsletter Rough Running NewsMarch 2024.
Recent back issues: November 2023August 2023April 2023.

The TACH Championship recognises those that lead runs, help at events, and write articles for Rough Running News. There will be prizes given out quarterly to four different members (i.e. the same person can't win more than one quarterly prize) and obviously the big prize, given out on the Twelfth Night awards and party evening, for the most points in a year. The points system is as follows:
1 point for leading an open or a pod run; 2 points for first time leading a run; 1 point for volunteering to help at a TACH event (marshalling, course setting, etc); 2 points for RRN article.

Are you intending to run for TACH at an event, or just want to show your allegiance to our great club when out and about? You'll need some TACH branded kit. We currently have technical short-sleeved t-shirts, long-sleeved t-shirts, and vests. And TACH hoodies which are a post-run pub favourite. Please email the KitMeister who will arrange to bring an appropriate selection for you to try on on a Thursday night.


 

Resources

ARC Membership and Liability Insurance

TACH club runs Risk Assessment (v1.0)

Archives

Routes