READING Roadrunners celebrated their 30th anniversary in style last Saturday.

More than 80 members gathered at The Queen’s Oak in Finchampstead to mark the club’s birthday, which also saw the launch of a commemorative book.

The Palmer Park-based club was formed in January 1987 on the back of training sessions for the Reading Half Marathon by former British international athlete Stan Eldon and colleague John London.

Over three decades it has become one of the largest running clubs in the South East, boasting in excess of 500 members.

Among the club’s many achievements are the popular 10km and junior races held at Shinfield and Mortimer every year, as well as the combined 10 and 20 mile race at Bramley, which is UK Athletics gold standard event featuring upwards of 1,400 runners from all over the South of England.

The club also features prominently at the London Marathon, supplying well over 60 marshals covering the Rotherhithe and prestigious Tower Bridge locations with the club chairman, Carl Woffington, responsible for stewarding across wider sections of the route.

Roadrunners have also raised in excess of £600k for a wide range of charities over the years, most notably via a series of annual car boot sales.

Highlights of last weekend’s birthday party included a hog roast, followed by a quiz and raffle with all proceeds going to the club’s nominated charity for 2017 – The Cycle-Smart Foundation based in Milford Road.

The commemorative book chronicles the club’s history in a light-hearted yet informative manner.

Club treasurer Sandy Sheppard, whose idea it was originally, said she simply “felt inspired to give something back after all the club has given to so many people.”

Woffington added: “This is a great club and its members have a lot to be proud of”.

The book, which costs just £3, was co-edited by Fergal Donnelly and David Dibben.