Town and Country Harriers (TACH)

Town and Country Harriers (TACH) is an off-road running club for people who love trail running and exploring the varied countryside in and around Bristol. We also organise local races. We aspire to be an inclusive running club where everyone feels encouraged and is given the confidence to run trails.

TACH runners

Our regular Thursday runs start and finish at a pub, usually within a thirty-minute drive of the centre of Bristol but we do make exceptions for especially scenic routes and/or particularly good pubs. 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. There is also something truly special about being off-road under a starlit sky, splashing through the mud, or running through a grassy field or a shady woodland path on a summer's evening. And we mix it up with town-based runs when the views or history makes it worthwhile. Either way, whether it's town or country, everyone is invited to join for a well-deserved drink 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 will welcome you as a member. Our regular Thursday runs 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 the steep ones, 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 whatever the weather. Due to the distance, the terrain, and the night-time running, our runs are not suitable for complete beginners; if you can run 4-5 miles fairly comfortably on the flat and have tried some daylight trail running, you'll be fine.

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. Hi-viz is always recommended.

Everyone is encouraged to do their bit and to lead runs. It's great fun introducing people to your favourite run (and pub). 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, Start Time: 8am/9am
RACE HQ: Mendip Activity Centre, BS25 5PQ
COURSE: A single day 50mile or 50km 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.

We aspire to be an inclusive running club where all runners feel encouraged and are given the confidence to run trails. We have regular runners in their 20s to 80s and women make up half our Committee and over 40% of our wider membership. We are continually looking for ways to make trail-running more inclusive: Our annual membership fee is just £10 (plus admin fee). For this you get an organised run every Thursday night, regular TACH socials, and many more ad-hoc weeknight and weekend runs organised by our enthusiastic members. We operate a "no runner gets left behind" policy on our organised Thursday runs. Our runs are suitable for anyone who can run 4-5 miles fairly comfortably on the flat and has tried some daylight trail running. We have many runners who are faster than this, but they will "sheepdog" (i.e. loop to the back of the pack) at regular intervals on a run. We keep the price of our races as low as possible and we have partnered with Into Ultra to ensure that affordability is not a barrier to taking part. We do not have cut off times for our shorter races. We know that strict cut-off times can put people off, particularly women who often feel less confident (even when they aren’t any slower). We ensure that there is a friendly and welcoming atmosphere at our races and this shows in the feedback that we get: 'The marshals were so encouraging and helpful', 'such a friendly and well-organised event', 'lovely warm and welcoming marshals'. We encourage liftshare groups (if you are comfortable to share your contact details) so you don't need a car in order to join us.

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 NewsJuly 2024.
Recent back issues: March 2024November 2023August 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 a 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