Starting Your Own Local Group
Rules and Guidelines
It is imperative that our rules and guidelines are adhered to and followed at all times. They have all been created through years of experience managing the community and do not only have the best intentions of the participants, leaders and community in mind, but also serve to protect our brand identity. If you are found to be breaking the rules or freestyling to the point it jeopardises our brand identity, values and lessens the value of a Chicks Who Trail experience- you will be voted out - Survivor-style.
Chicks Who Trail Rules
Local Group Run Frequency:
Group runs should be weekly, or bi-monthly (so twice a month). Ideally, they should be every week at the same time, on the same day. We’ve found that consistency is key to growing your group, and helps participants in your community plan their lives.
There is NO cost associated with local group runs. They are free for all participants to attend.
You must be ready to accommodate ALL paces. This will probably be the most tricky part of managing your own community as if you’re the only leader, what do you do? Run ahead and lead but risk losing people at the back, or lead-from-the-back and hope the front runners don't get lost. There are ways around this, like having a easy to navigate, set route every week, or have a shorter loop that fast women run twice while slower women run it once for example. You can also recruit more leaders, or opt to run the community with a partner. NO woman must be turned away, unless she is a walker/hiker or too unfit to jog for the duration of your run (even if that’s a super slow jog). You are justified in asking women to have a tiny bit of fitness before they join.
If you’re running as one big group - you need to regroup. This is key. So in other words, if you have one leader (you), the group pace is as fast as your slowest runner. If this really isn’t working, we’d suggest problem-solving by having the ‘lap’ concept as mentioned above or recruiting a group leader for a faster or a slower group. Regardless of how you do it, you must regroup on the trail and make sure everyone is ok, accounted for, and smiling. We want each and every participant to leave having had a good experience and feeling welcomed to the group. I’m sure you know how kuk it feels to be excluded, left behind or made to feel like you’re an inconvenience, so do your best to make sure no one has that experience.
Chicks Who Trail welcomes all women. We are hell-bent about diversifying and can only do this if all women are welcomed, regardless of fitness, shape, race, sexuality, etc. We believe in equality, equity, and compassion.
You’d think we would have to say this one, but seriously - this is a chicks group. Sorry guys - we love you, and know you support what we’re doing, but this is a space for women to come together. Mmkay. A lot of women join because it is a woman’s-only group - and we want to keep it that way.
Local Group Leader/s:
It’s really key that you are at every local group run. AND ON TIME. Obviously, there will be the odd week you can’t make it, but you will need to organise a replacement for that week or cancel the run. If we notice that you are doing this frequently, we will shut down your group or hand it over to someone who can manage it. On that note, we STRONGLY suggest finding a partner/s to start your own local group run with. Having someone to help manage the pace groups, do pre-run briefing and lean on if you need to be absent or vice versa is key. So if you know your group is going to attract a lot of women and you’re nervous about starting it - find a friend! It makes it much more fun too. You’re also the decision-maker on the day regarding weather calls (we generally run in anything unless it’s dangerous), route changes, groups, etc.
Local Group Run Communication/marketing:
Your Local Group will live on a Whatsapp group. Members will gain access to the group via the WhatsApp link that you will share, as well as Chicks Who Trail from time to time on our main social media channels. The Chicks Who Trail Instagram and Facebook groups will remain general, and no local groups will have their own IG or Facebook pages/handles.
Organising your local group runs:
As the group leader, you are responsible for setting a time, date, route… basically everything for your local group run. You will also be responsible for managing a Whatsapp group, and sharing run info in a timeous manner prior to each run, as well as engaging with participants.
Partnership, Sponsorships and Promotions:
If you want to involve another brand in your local group runs, for any reason, be it a fun prize incentive or gear demo, etc - you MUST run is past CWT Founder, Bryony McCormick first. This is for the protection of the brand identity. Do not host or post anything regarding sponsorships/partnerships without chatting to Bryony about it first. We work hard to keep CWT a mutual, unbiased, uncompromised space. Bryony worked for many years in magazines where paid advertisers constantly influenced and jeopardized the authenticity of content within magazines. She vowed to never allow that to happen to this group and wishes to keep it clean, transparent and without clutter/sales.
As a group leader, you are 100% representing Chicks Who Trail, our brand values and promise. It is so important that you read through our values, understand them and behave in a way that aligns with our brand. If we find that you are behaving in a way that is misaligned with CWT, we will chat to you first, and if it cannot be resolved, we will shut down your local group. Maintaining our “vibe” is key and your conduct plays a role in that.
Drama, drama, drama:
Should any drama arise, or conflict or anything negative really - we need to deal with it straight up. We, as a community, do not tolerate anyone being shit to anyone else. Seriously, one of our rules is ‘don’t be kuk’ and we mean it. We’re a group that stands for empowering, uplifting and supporting other womxn. Flip, chicks get enough shit on a daily basis, why on earth would we tolerate a group/person who nay says or behaves in a crappy manner to a fellow womxn? In saying that, it’s impossible these days to not offend someone, so conflict may arise. If you cannot solve it, contact Bryony and chat through the situation and she will do her best to help.
No Local group is authorised to create their own Chicks Who Trail group merch. If there is something you’d like to get made - please contact Bryony.
Each group leader will be sent a standard Chicks Who Trail liability waiver for their Whatsapp groups, and will be required to post it bi-monthly, or monthly. Depending on how many new joiners you get. By virtue of being on the group participants will agree to the liability waiver terms.
Chicks Who Trail Values & Guidelines
Read through our brand values and use them to guide you when making decisions.
Trail Running: From beginners through to pros, we cater for/cover everything and everyone trail.
Travel & Adventure: Local and international trail adventure travel- exploring places on foot. We can only grow and evolve by immersing ourselves in new experiences and cultures.
Training & Cross Training: Training advice, group goals, alternative training: MTB, Swim, Strength, Yoga
Nutrition: We eat responsibly and as a brand don’t promote eating meat products.
Gear: All trail related gear, honest reviews, unbiased – again, local is lekker where possible - always offer authentic, credible advice (NEVER sponsored).
Green: Promote a green, sustainable lifestyle through experiences, CWT branded products, gear and events. Inspire a sense of responsibility in all runners. No plastic. Not shit that destroys the planet.
Giving Back: Animals, trails, conservation, development - we are a brand that believes in sisterhood, in empowerment, in uplifting and in compassion.
Equality & Equity: CWT are invested in attempting to make trail running accessible to everyone and anyone that identifies as a womxn.
Fun: Above all, this brand is about having fun outdoors and embracing your inner wild woman.
CWT Local Group Guidelines
We want your group to succeed, so we’ve come up with these guidelines. Believe us when we tell you, all info here is through trial and error (of which there has been a lot of the latter).
Routes & Pace: In Cape Town we have been blessed with a lot of route choices. But not all of them are circular and if you’re new to the area, it’s easy to get lost. So with trail runners of different paces, it became immensely challenging to herd everyone. With such a big crew we ultimately found a leader and helper for each pace group, of which at one stage there were four. But not every local group is going to have that many resources to dip into. So, keep in mind, when planning your route/routes, that not everyone in the group can run the same distance at the same pace. So either find a partner to help lead one of the/the other pace groups, or find a short route that can be repeated for the faster runners. You’re welcome to bounce route ideas off Bryony if you’re stuck, as seriously this has been the most challenging aspect of group running to date, especially with our, leave no one behind policy. Also, we should have to say this as we know you’re be aware of it, but keep routes in safe areas and if they involved any form of scrambling, insane climbing etc - always warn your community beforehand.
Weather call: We mentioned this earlier, but it’s your decision to make a weather call on the day. We really aren’t afraid of most weather, and our Cape Town group has run in heavy rain, mist, wind, heat… you name it. We’d only call it off if it were dangerous and putting people’s lives at risk. Just give your group a bit of time if you are going to cancel due to weather… as in don’t post a message on the group five minutes before you’re due to start.
Run time: We have found that an hour for a week run is a good time. Anything longer and you’ll scare away the beginners, anything shorter and it’s not worth making the effort.
Meet up spot: Be clear when you describe where you’re meeting, but don’t feel like you have to pander to people who are too lazy to open google maps. There is a fine line between enabling laziness or empowering independence. Do the latter. Also, if you have a local coffee shop/restaurant that is keen to be involved and be the meet up point/hub for your local group runs, chat to Bryony and make it happen!
Why start your own local group?
Like we have said a few times, this isn’t a paid position - it’s a volunteer thing. Which takes a special person, we get it. There are loads of benefits though and we thought we’d share some of ours.
“ For me it started as something fun and frivolous, but I soon became aware of the impact the group as well as the sport of trail running were having on these women. I saw friendships forming, women facing fears, overcoming challenges. I saw growth happening in front of me, and I watched a community of supportive, kind, compassionate women help each other, nurture each other and push each other. No amount of money can match the satisfaction I experience, week after week, witnessing it all.” Bryony McCormick - Founder
Okay, so you’ve read the requirements, guidelines and our values and you reckon this is something you’re keen to do! The next step is completing this quick questionnaire and clicking send! We will get it, have a little read and get back to you!