A RUNNING club from Torfaen has found a way for members to combine their daily exercise with paying tribute to NHS staff and key workers.

Griffithstown Harriers used the social network Strava - which tracks your route when exercising - to spell out their message of thanks.

In total, 45 runners took part in creating the message - reading "Thank you to the NHS and all key workers from the G-Unit (the club's nickname)" - running a total of around 200 miles to complete the message letter by letter.

Paul Mason, from the Harriers, messaged his clubmates with the idea on Sunday evening, and within three days, they had finished their message.

"It was just done as a message of thanks as we know how hard everyone is working," he said. "I've seen it first hand as both me and my partner work for the NHS - I haven't had a day off for five weeks.

"We wanted to do something a bit different and a bit quirky.

"I sent out a message to our runners and I was expecting three or four people to get back to me, but we had 45 people asking to help.

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(The message reads: Thank you to the NHS and all key workers from the G-Unit (the club's nickname). Picture: Griffithstown Harriers.)

"It was great to see how everyone put so much effort in to their letters. It brought a smile to my face doing it, as well as seeing how it came out.

"I worked out that in total, we had run about 200 miles in total to create the message, including running to and from the places where we drew our letters."

The club usually meets twice a week, but the lockdown and subsequent cancellation of races had led some to lose their enthusiasm for running.

"Quite a few people had lost their running mojo as they preferred to run with the group," said Mr Mason.

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(Griffithstown Harriers Running Club. Picture: Griffithstown Harriers.)

"Our activity was right down. We had people training for marathons and ultra marathons that have now been cancelled. I was training was an ultra marathon at the start of April which was called off, so I had lost my mojo a bit.

"But this made us want to get out there and get our letters done. It's inspired us to start running again.

"We are now setting ourselves challenges each week. It's about trying to keep people motivated.

"I know a few of us have been struggling with not having that interaction of going out together as a club, so these challenges are a way to keep everyone included when we can't all meet up."