About Squirrels

We are a friendly community of runners based in the beautiful village of Broughton Astley, and neighbouring areas of south-west Leicestershire. Squirrels was formed in 2012 and we now have in excess of 100 members, from Couch to 5k to ultra marathon runners. In January 2024 Squirrels became UK Athletics affiliated.

We welcome all abilities of runners, and have a strong mentality of positive encouragement and creating a supportive environment for each other. We also focus on the social aspect of running.

We look forward to welcoming you to the group. You can find out more in the below sections of this website:


The group was founded in 2012 by Sarah McSharry:

In 2012, after helping out at a beginners' running group, I decided to train as a Run Leader and set up my own group in Broughton Astley. I'd seen that there were a lot of runners in the village, but nothing organised.
One night in September 2012, the first Squirrels session took place. There were about five runners, and my parents had come down too. We did a run-walk loop, cooled down afterwards, and everyone promised to come back the next week. The group gradually grew over the next few weeks, and in the December, over 20 Squirrels ran the Lutterworth Santa Fun Run.
That had been my goal - to take a group of beginners to the point at which they could run 5k. Once that was done, I wasn't sure anyone would want to carry on, but they did! New runners appeared in January 2013, so we started meeting on two nights a week - one for beginners, and one for those who could already run a few miles.
The group went from strength to strength. Some of the longer standing members also qualified as Run Leaders. When I was offered a job in Spain, I was worried about what would happen with the group. I needn't have been - I could never have imagined it would become as big as it is today!
And the name? I knew I didn't want to go for Broughton Astley Running Club. The aim was always to have a group that was inclusive, and a name like that would probably have put newer runners off. The idea of an animal name appealed, and one day while running with friends we went through a lot of ideas - I don't remember whose suggestion Squirrels was, but it was immediately the winner!

Below are some other notable events in the history of the group. Click the Squirrel to see more information about each item. If you would like to contribute to this section, please contact us.


  • Squirrels Running Group becomes UK Athletics affiliated - 🐿️  🐿️ 
  • 10k Improvers programme launched - 🐿️


  • The group's Standards are revised - 🐿️


  • Winner of RunTogether Group of the Year in England Athletics 2020 Regional Volunteer Awards - 🐿️