Event organisers say it's time to Get Britain Running
English and Welsh companies join forces in a new partnership
Less than nine months ago the running industry was rolling along happily, eagerly anticipating the busy Spring and Autumn marathon seasons, until COVID-19 stuck a great big stick in the spokes of mass participation events.
The shuddering halt that ensued was quickly followed by a nimble move online to virtual events for the masses and bio-secure bubbles to enable elite athletes to continue to compete and excel, with numerous world records falling and exciting races witnessed first hand by a handful of team managers and coaches.
At times like this, there is a need for new thinking and discussions with like-minded souls. It is exactly that process that is behind Get Britain Running, a brand new partnership that aims to facilitate collaboration and innovation to support the wider participation events industry, through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Six of Britain’s leading mass sporting events organisers have joined forces to help Get Britain Running. The participating groups are:
Front Runner Events
Wales' largest independent running event management company. Self-delivered events include Swansea Half Marathon, Llanelli Half Marathon, Great Welsh Marathon and Great Welsh Half Marathon.
Running High Events
Organisers of Bath Half Marathon, the largest single day charity fundraising event in the South West. With over 15,000 entries Bath Half Marathon (or 'Bath Half' as it affectionately known) is one of the most popular and prestigious mass-participation road races in the UK.
ReesLeisure is a Leisure Management company which currently manages ABP Southampton Marathon, Winchester Half Marathon, Try Tri Events and Southampton Sporterium.
RUNFEST organises a range of events across London including Richmond RUNFEST, AIR:RUN and Kew Gardens 10k. RUNFEST hosted the largest COVID-secure mass participation event in the UK since the start of the pandemic when 3,500 took part in the 2020 Kew Gardens 10K.
MK Marathon Weekend offers a city marathon with a difference. The course takes in the best that Milton Keynes has to offer, including beautiful lakes, traffic-free Redways, scenic canal and tranquil woodlands. The race finishes inside prestigious StadiumMK, home of MK Dons FC.
Mass participation and fundraising specialists, Realbuzz Group works with a range of global events to provide online entry solutions and charity fundraising programmes .
Get Britain Running is founded on three core principles, which provide the driving force behind all activities carried out by the partnership: improving health; raising awareness; supporting charities.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, almost two-thirds (63%) of adults in England were already overweight and unfit, obesity rates in the UK having nearly tripled since 1975. Physical activity levels across England plummeted during the first lockdown, with 30% of the adult population being 'inactive' between March and May, and almost 12 million adults doing almost no exercise. (Source: Sport England Active Lives Adults Survey – Coronavirus Report). Get Britain Running encourages people to get active, whilst also promoting the benefits of exercise in combating the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and obesity.
Participation sports events have been among the most significantly impacted industries as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic with 93% of the UK's running race organisers reporting a loss in revenue in 2020, as reported by Sports Business. Get Britain Running aims to research, document and circulate supporting evidence and guidelines for enabling COVID-19-compliant participation sporting events.
Many of the UK’s charities rely on mass participation events for a significant percentage of their fundraising revenues. With supporters unable to take part in events, the majority of these fundraising revenues have been slashed in 2020. Get Britain Running aims to provide support and give charities a platform to raise awareness of the challenges they are facing.
Get Britain Running will incorporate a website and virtual events series created by Realbuzz Group. Runners can sign up to officially licensed virtual versions of events from all Get Britain Running event organisers, with a unique series medal on offer for runners who complete all five major events.
For more information on Get Britain Running, search for #GetBritainRunning on social media.
Image courtesy Bath Half Marathon