We continue our series looking at club training nights around the country and this time it’s the turn of Lincoln Wellington AC

Lincoln Wellington AC was formed after a meeting in 1911 at the Duke of Wellington Inn, making it possibly the only athletics club in the UK to be named after a pub.

In the period between the two world wars the club flourished and had many successes. Ernie Harrison represented Great Britain over 5000m in 1937 and was one of the best known athletes around that period – unfortunately World War II interrupted his career. C.T. (Tommy) White was another big name in the post-war period and finished in fifth place over 800m at the European Championships before going on to win the British Games 800m and AAA 880 yards titles in 1947. He went on to represent GB at the 1948 London Olympics.


Today the club is thriving and training sessions take place at the Yarborough track on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. In the winter months some sessions are done on an illuminated cycle track or on grassed football pitches. Plenty of tough hills are available within a few minutes jog from the track.

Older members of the club will testify that in terms of sheer numbers the club’s evening get-togethers are now unrecognisable from where the club was 20 years or so ago. With a current competing membership in excess of 400, it can sometimes seem that they are all on the track at the same time such are the different sessions taking place.

The coaches at the club are keen to develop themselves and Geoff James, England Athletics endurance coach mentor, after a recent visit reported that he was impressed with the level of organised work carried out across all events on the track and with different age groups.

Currently, the highest-profile club athlete is javelin ace Joe Dunderdale, who competed for England at last year’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games and is ranked second in the UK. His younger sister, Hannah, was fourth in the rankings in 2013 for the under-20 heptathlon and his brother, Haran, won the English Schools 1500m steeplechase in 2012 when top of the rankings and in 2013 competed at the World Youth Championships in Donetsk over 2000m steeplechase.

The club has traditionally been strong in the endurance events with both Blue Haywood and Rachael Nathan having won national cross-country titles. A trio of current athletes in the under-20 women’s age group are maintaining that tradition. Abbie Donnelly, Rebekah Ward and Catrina Thomas were last year’s under-17 women’s national road relay champions, and Donnelly also took the Schools International inter-girls 3000m title in Dublin. This year Ward won a bronze medal at the English Schools 1500m steeplechase as well as taking the North of England under-20 title at the 2000m steeplechase. Thomas and Donnelly also picked up area medals when finishing first and second in the Northern under-20 1500m.

It’s not all about endurance, though, and relative newcomer Georgina Adam has burst on to the national sprinting scene by topping the under-15 girls’ 200m rankings and taking silver at the England Athletics championships. At the other end of the age range, Dot Fraser is still going strong in the W75 category and has amassed a huge collection of medals at national and world level.

Club training

Rob Lewis, a middle-distance and endurance coach at the club (pictured above with the under-17 national road relay-winning trio), uses a variety of approaches to training during winter that includes multi-pace grass interval sessions, hill repetitions, as well as continuing with track sessions.

A typical format for training during this period is an aerobic warm-up followed by drills to develop speed and efficiency.

The main session content varies throughout the season. One annual session that the group carry out is a Kenenisa Bekele workout, which consists of up to 12x400m followed by 200m with 90 seconds recovery after each effort.

Lewis tailors the session to age and experience. The winter schedule allows for volume but also keeps in touch with speed.

» Want your club featured? Contact: [email protected] with some history and details of a typical winter session and we’ll do the rest!