Welcome to Burnden Road Runners

Next run: Wednesday 29 June 2022

About our group

In 1983, Vince Regan, a former international runner approached John McGovern (manager of Bolton Wanderers) to run in Bolton’s own Adidas British Marathon. John rose to the challenge and invited others to join him. Many responded and completed the marathon as members of the Wanderers Lifeline Team. Following the event a small nucleus decided that the group should continue to run and raise money for local charities, thus the Lifeline Running Group began. In 1985, the group became a fully-fledged athletics club whose name was a nod to the then home of Bolton Wanderers, Burnden Park; the ‘roadrunners’ part being inspired by one of its early members renowned for his participation in events dressed as the original roadrunner with feathered tail flowing and klaxon blaring.

Claim to fame?

In 1988, 16 runners completed the ‘Pebble Relay’….a non-stop relay run from John O’Groats to Land’s End, when they chopped 16 hours off their scheduled 5 day slog. The pebble collected from John O’Groats beach at 6am on 5th June was hurled into the sea at Land’s End… 4 days, eight hours and 30 minutes later. Although many clubs had completed this feat, especially during the 1960’s, it is believed that Burnden were the first club from the area to attempt it.  More recently, members Andy Staveley and Mel Walker have featured on the pages of national running magazines; and members have completed the Ironman UK race in Bolton.

How many members?

We have 170+ members, with a more dramatic increase in membership in the last 4 years. We have a Facebook page, website, Burnden forum and regularly appear in the athletics section of the local paper. Our VET membership is particularly large and strong, but we also have athletes under 40, or ‘infants’ as we term them!

We train

On Mondays we meet at Smithills Sports Centre, Bolton. There are usually about 3 different sessions on offer, varying from new starters/beginners/lighter effort; with longer/more challenging sessions on offer at 7pm. In summer, we offer off-road options on the trails/moors above Bolton.  The Monday and Thursdays sessions are led by qualified coaches.

We compete

Members compete in road, fell and cross country leagues….Central Lancs. Grand Prix, National Relay Championships, British and UK Fell championship and South East Lancs /Red Rose Cross Country respectively; and regularly win championship, team and VET categories. Also other races, e.g. Man vs. Horse.

Favourite run

Has to be the ‘Mast’ or its kid brother…’the half-mast’…the ‘Mast’ is a 7 mile summer loop that takes us up onto the moors above Bolton, taking in the Winter Hill TV mast and sometimes Two Lads, before returning to base via Barrow Bridge and Moss Bank Park. The ‘half-mast’ shortens the loop, and is used when the light is reduced.

Social side

We don’t forget to have fun and have a dedicated social secretaries in Vicki and Sarah, who have arranged club walks, charity events and our clubs Presentation evenings.

Club stalwarts

Paul Christie, Neil Nuttall, Simon Marland all have a 30 years+ association with the club in many different capacities as Club Officers and runners.

Our Club Run - Trotters 5

Currently our annual 5 mile trail race and part of the Central Lancs. Grand Prix, which starts off Smithills Dean Rd, Bolton and winds its way through Smithills Country Park. It is growing in popularity and now attracts 350 runners. In the past we used Horrock’s Fold Trails for our ‘Smithills Serpent’ race, which local runners jokily referred to as the only flat run they had ever done that was located on the side of a hill !!


Burnden Road Runners are pleased to be taking part in the England Athletics #runandtalk campaign.

We love running and we want to share the benefits of it with others, so come along and try our training sessions, we launched the club as being officially affiliated with England Athletics runandtalk on Monday 23rd September 2019.

Contact Group

Meet our Team

Our locations


Smithills Sports Centre

Moss Bank Park, Grass area off Barrow Bridge Road

Grass area off Moss Ln

Grass area off Barrow Bridge Road, Bolton

Top Car Park off Barrow Bridge Road

Leverhulme Park meet on athletics track

Meet On Leverhulme Main Car Park

Car Park @ Old Links Golf Club Chorley Old Rd

Sharples Vale - park nearby and run to start

Fountain near Moss Bank Park main car park

Junction of Belmont Rd & Sweetloves Lane

Overdale Crematorium

Top Car Park on Moss Lane/Barrow Bridge Road

Corner of Old Kiln Lane and Stapleton Ave - Meet at the bench on grassy area

On the grassy area with the bench - corner of Old Kiln Lane and Stapleton Ave

We meet at various locations around Smithills - check session the week before for meeting point

Meet at the car park

Doffcocker Lodge Car Park

Smithills Hall - meet at Car Park just up from the Farm sign

Entwistle Reservoir, Batridge Road Car Park

Bottom of Road past Overdale Crematorium entrance

Car Park Opposite Rivington and Blackrod School - BL6 7SE

Barrow Bridge

Horwich Leisure Centre

Smithills Hall Car Park (Trotters 5 Finish)

Moss Bank Park Main Car Park

The Serpent - Meet at Smithills Hall Top Car Park

Middlebrook Trail to the Lostock Arms - Out and Back - Meet at top of Overdale Drive

Meet at Smithills Hall Top Car Park

Meet at Smithills Hall Top Car Park

Moss Bank Park - Grass Area by Football/Cricket Pitches

Meet at car park at junction of Moss Bank Way and Blackburn Road opp Asda

Meet at Car Park Opposite Rivington and Blackrod School - BL6 7SE

Tonge Trail - Meet Point TBC

Middlebrook Trail to Regent Park Golf Course & Return - Meet outside Heaton Fold Garden Centre

Horden Stoops car park, Rivington Road

Station Road, Chapletown

Longsight Park Car Park

Astley Bridge Cricket Club

Entrance to Queens Park off Mayor St. Park and walk to area near cafe

Entrance to Queens Park off Mayor St. Park and walk to area near cafe

Moss Bank Park - Park on Moss Ln (main) car park and walk/jog to meeting point @ Barrow Bridge Rd

Meet at Queens Park main gates on Chorley New Road

The Great House Barn | Tea Room & Gift Shop, Rivington, Bolton, UK

We meet at various locations around Bolton - check session the week before for meeting point

Park near Curleys Dining Room

Meet at Curleys Dining Rooms

Near entrance to Heaton Fold Garden Centre

Meet at entrance to Heaton Fold Garden Centre

Meet at 'The Rivington' (Bowling Green) Horrobin Ln

Meet at Crown Pub Horwich (warm up in memorial park/garden)

Grassy area near the car park

Barnstormers Pub/ Treetops Acorns, Lostock Lane

Luciano's Restaurant Middlebrook

Randolph Street