MEMBERS of a successful running club celebrated its first anniversary in the best possible way – with a jog around a Basingstoke park.

Members of Hatch Warren Runners turned out in force to mark one year since it was formed by couple Mark and Danielle Butler.

The husband and wife, who have two children, decided to set up the club after realising a need for one in the area they live, and a year later it now has 200 dedicated members.

The team marked the one-year milestone at the weekly parkrun event held at War Memorial Park.

Mark, 39, said: “Danielle was chatting to a lot of mums at school and we both run and they said they wished they could run too.

“I set up a Facebook group, and we invited everyone we knew to join. We set a date which was March 6 last year, and 10 people turned up.”

Members then began bringing along friends and family, and soon the group had dramatically grown in size to 200.

Mark said: “It’s been a community project. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We match people up with a running buddy.”

Since forming, members have taken part in numerous running events, including the Destination Basingstoke Half-Marathon last October.

A record number of 74 members completed the Reading Half-Marathon, which is believed to be the biggest team from any running club in the event.

Hatch Warren Runners are now preparing to compete in their first full marathon in Manchester in April, when 25 members will take part.

The club has also launched a ‘Couch to 5k’ course for people in need of serious support to help them complete their fist 5k run.

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