Just as we had anticipated, members of our Running Family could be seen everywhere putting on a great show: performing on speaker stages; promoting their club/group; joining England Athletics on our stand helping visitors understand the benefits and opportunities of running.
We are the home of running
The National Running Show is the show for all things running but our membership base is the ‘home’ of running and like any family, our Running Family has different members.
From little children running through the aisles or doing athletics activities in the kids’ zone to Legends of our sport like Sir Mo Farah having his photo taken with hundreds of visitors (who waited to see him in a queue that nearly wrapped the whole hall); and our affiliated club members: runners, running coaches, Run Leader Mentors, run event providers and adjudicators/officials, and our club volunteers; the weekend was a real celebration of the love of running that there is in this country. And we couldn’t be prouder!
Our purpose for our attendance was two-fold. To catch up and listen with our current running members and to highlight the breadth of our membership for those new to running or supporting family members and friends joining the sport.
The big talking point though was the breadth of running opportunities that England Athletics supports:
- Road running
- Road running events/races
- Multi-terrain running
- Track running
- Social run groups
- Leadership and coaching in running
- The Personal Best Foundation’s purpose is to change young people’s lives through athletics and running.
Engaging visitors with our Running Athletes Q&A
A highlight for many visitors and the Athletes taking part was our Running Family Question and Answer (Q&A) session at the Club Hub Zone (sponsored by England Athletics). Barry Hopkins, programme director for England Athletics’ Run Events (formerly known as runbritain) hosted the Q&A with the following running athletes each highlighting the breadth of their running experiences within England Athletics:
- Samantha Harrison (Charnwood AC, Vince Wilson) | Read how Samantha started and her top tips
- Gemma Steel (Charnwood AC, Liz Nuttall) | Read about Gemma’s running journey
- Vinay Joshi (Abbey Joggers) | Read about what makes Vinay volunteer
- Sara Willhoit (Shrewsbury AC, Colin Livingstone) | Read what Sara loves about mountain running
Largely supporting England Athletics’ social running programme RunTogether, our Run Leaders Mentors who have joined us at every National Running Show, brought fun, expertise and that all-important ‘we hear you…this is why we are here’ tangible and relatable support to many show visitors having seen their role on their clothing and asking us about their role.
Run Leader Mentors can support clubs or provide information and advice on how to become a Run Leader.
The ever-popular running courses attracted a great deal of interest. As running grows in popularity more and more people are looking at careers or volunteering in running. Some visitors agreed with us thinking the leadership courses can help anyone find confidence in dealing with people and finding self-confidence irrespective of the running expertise element.
Further to England Athletics last year assuming responsibility for runbritain licencing and all road and multi-terrain races in England; run event organisers and runners were able to check out our progress in the role-out of the new licensing system and run event finder coming soon.