This is a site created for Nomads news, runs and pictures.  We hope this will make the process easier for new runners on the regular Sunday runs and for regular runners to keep in touch with upcoming events.

The maps included on the route start point tabs are snapshots from Google Maps. To access the facility for directions 'to' or 'from' those start points just click on the word 'Google' in the lower left corner of the map and you will open a full Google Maps version of that location. You can 'right click' on the indicated car park or landmark at that stage and select 'Directions to' or 'Directions from' to find your way around.

Please see the calendar below for the next run date and location

 North Downs Nomads 

It’s difficult to pin-point when the Nomads came into existence.  According to my records by 1990 a group of Sutton Runners were joining Len Gaul’s runs from the swimming pool at Merland Rise, Banstead.  Most of the group were dissatisfied with our Club’s Sunday runs starting from the Youth Centre in Bishopsford Road and run along the roads of Sutton and surrounding areas.  The views from the Sutton bypass were no equal to the majesty offered by Reigate Hill.  Most of us were instantly seduced. 

The first run was relatively simple. The 10 mile ‘ Tap ‘n Back’ started in Merland Rise and ran, mostly off road, to the water tap at the Temple on top of Reigate Hill.  With slight amendments we ran this route for a few years and then slowly we became more adventurous, descending the Downs to run further afield, generally following the North Downs Way and the Pilgrims Way.  Slowly, our repertoire of runs became larger and mostly based on Raymond Hughes ‘Adventurous Walks in Surrey’.  The name ‘the North Downs Nomads’ evolved around that time culminating eventually in the production of our T-shirts.  These were in part funded by the Club, since most of the regular Nomads were Sutton Runners. 

Throughout the 1990s the group’s activities varied between a turnout of two or three to about twenty.  The accent was very much on slow and socially enjoyable running rather than the ‘eyeballs out’ competitive running that had characterised the traditional Sunday run.   

As distances increased, so the 50K challenge events of the Long Distance Walkers Association became interwoven with the Nomads.  The longer distances would also attract runners training for various marathons.  In time, the ultimate Nomad experience was the Shalford-Reigate run.  Taking the train from Reigate to Shalford (South of Guildford) and then running back along the top of the Downs – a distance of 22-24 miles [we could never agree]. 

Most of the early group have now left but the anarchic spirit remains.  We never bothered setting up any committee, electing a President, initiating recruitment drives, etc.  Every member had a say (if s/he could shout loud enough) as to start times, distances, changes to routes, next week’s run, etc. Over time rules evolved such as strictly observed start times, frequent re-grouping, never turning any runner away, stopping to admire the views, and so on. 

A very brief account of this group would normally finish on an upbeat note, but I can’t think of one without it sounding pretentious and clichéd.  If you feel you would like to be part of our group, why not contact us?

John Lipczynski

 Click back to the Sutton Runners website - 

          Picturesque runs in the Surrey countryside 


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