Recovery Runners Running Club

Rachel Atherton

Running. We may use it for relaxation, for space, and for time out of our busy lives to think, amongst other reasons, however, the newest running group to emerge in Leeds uses running for a different concept – to support recovery.

The brainchild of Dean Smith and Jamie Heselden, Recovery Runners Running Club was initially born from an idea of introducing a small group of people in alcohol recovery to the benefits of running. This has now grown to encompass recovery from substance addiction, gambling, disordered eating, and mental health issues amongst others. In fact, Recovery Runners welcomes anyone who is curious about, or uses, the benefits of running to recover from and manage, life changing events or addictive behaviours. We are active on social media, via Facebook and Instagram, and are proud of the safe space we have created to bring together a welcoming community who support each other through their running activities, and encourage each other to feel better about themselves spiritually, mentally, and physically.  

Although Dean and Jamie use running in their own recovery from alcohol addiction, the Recovery Runners Running Club are not just about recovery from substances. The team working with Dean and Jamie have all been impacted by some of the issues listed above, either personally, or through supporting friends or family. Running is the glue that holds us together, and we offer friendship, fun, and a non-judgemental running community for all. Although current restrictions have limited our opportunities to meet up and run, our initial aim for the lifting of the lockdown restrictions is to arrange for small groups to meet around the Leeds area, led by qualified Run Leaders, for either a run or a walk, and chat and will progress to meeting on a larger scale and hosting events as Government restrictions allow.

We are aiming to ‘heal souls with soles’, so please join us on Facebook (Recovery Runners) or Instagram (recoveryrunnersrunningclub) and we look forward to welcoming you to our Club!


Thank you to Kathryn for putting the article together.