Five of Britain’s leading participation sporting events have joined forces to create Get Britain Running, a brand new partnership that aims to facilitate collaboration and innovation to support the wider mass participation industry through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Made up of Front Runner Events, Running High Events, Rees Leisure, MK Marathon and RUNFEST, Get Britain Running is founded on three core principles, which provide the driving force behind all activities carried out by the partnership:
IMPROVING HEALTH: 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. During the first national lockdown physical activity levels across England plummeted further, with 30 per cent 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)
Recent studies have shown that being overweight and unfit also increases your risk of catching COVID-19 and increases your risk of serious complications, hospitalisation and death from COVID-19. (Source: Public Health England – Excess Weight and COVID-19 – Jul 2020)
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.
The campaign encourages the government and local authorities to place the promotion of exercise at forefront of the recovery plan from COVID-19, and to review restrictions on races in line with consistent evidence of the low risk of transmission of COVID-19 at outdoor participation sporting events.
In the meantime, a series of officially-licensed virtual events from Get Britain Running’s event organisers will enable people from all walks of life to improve their exercise habits by working towards a goal and earning rewards and medals. Runners will be able to share their progress and find training tips on realbuzz Club, the official online community platform for Get Britain Running.
RAISING AWARENESS: Participation sporting events have been among the most significantly impacted industries as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 93% of UK running race organisers have reported a loss in revenue in 2020 as reported by Sports Business.
Running is the most popular sport in the UK, enjoyed by 7.5 million adults each week. Running is also the most accessible of participation sports, requiring minimal equipment or infrastructure. (Source: Sport England Active Lives Adults Survey)
Running was one of only two sports to see a significant increase in participation during the first national lockdown, whilst restrictions on gyms, leisure centres and team sports caused general physical activity levels to plummet across England. (Source: Sport England Active Lives Adults Survey – Coronavirus Report)
Get Britain Running aims to research, document and circulate supporting evidence and guidelines for enabling COVID-19-compliant participation sporting events. Current guidelines need to be amended in line with consistent evidence of the low risk of transmission of COVID-19 at outdoor participation sporting events, and expanded to ensure events of all sizes are covered, empowering race organisers to provide participants with safe and secure environments with minimal impact on the race day experience. The partnership will also raise wider awareness of the challenges faced by the industry, lobbying for action and financial support from the sport’s governing bodies and the government.
SUPPORTING CHARITIES: 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. A series of fundraising initiatives will be implemented through virtual events to give charity supporters an avenue to continue their fundraising in the temporary absence of physical events. The Get Britain Running charity programme will be facilitated by the team at Realbuzz Group, who were the driving force behind the huge increase in mass participation event fundraising over the last 15 years.
Great 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 events. Realbuzz Group also provides runners with training tips through their realbuzz Club platform, which provides community tools, training plans and Q&A podcasts for users.
For more information on Get Britain Running, search for the #GetBritainRunning hashtag on social media.
For any queries, please contact Realbuzz Group Marketing Manager Ross McCallum on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Get Britain Running partnership:
Wales’ largest independent running event management company. Self delivered events include: Swansea Half Marathon, Llanelli Half Marathon, Great Welsh Marathon (inc. Great Welsh Half Marathon).
“Collaborating with like-minded race organisers at this vital period for the running sector has become a priority now more than ever. Helping push the agenda for physical and mental health and wellbeing benefits of the nation is vital. We want to be able to help people continue their training and provide tangible goals so that we’re all ready to return safely to road racing again. We at Front Runner Events want to do all we can to help the running and fitness communities particularly through the winter months, which is why we have developed virtual events alongside our partners to help #GetBritainRunning during these difficult times.” – David Martin-Jewell, Founder/MD, Front Runner Events
Organisers of the Bath Half Marathon, the largest single day charity fundraising event in the South West. With over 15,000 entries the annual 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.
“We are delighted to support this initiative to help raise the profile of the most popular sport in the UK and the important role that running and physical fitness can play in helping to beat the COVID and the obesity pandemics” Andrew Taylor, Race Director, Bath Half Marathon
ReesLeisure is a Leisure Management company which currently manages the ABP Southampton Marathon, Winchester Half Marathon, Southampton Sailing Week, Try Tri Events and Southampton Sporterium.
“ReesLeisure are excited to be working with such prestigious events to get the country back up and running post lockdown. With our events in Southampton and Winchester proving hugely popular we know the importance of regular exercise and exciting goals to work towards are a key part of a healthy lifestyle. We look forward to welcoming more people into the country’s largest sport and seeing a healthier Great Britain! Let’s Get Britain Running!” – Chris Rees, Managing Director, Rees Leisure
The 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 the prestigious StadiumMK, home of the MK Dons FC.
“The MK Marathon team are honoured and excited to be a partner in this program with other prestigious events. We are always striving to give our runners the best possible experience which includes taking care of their physical fitness and mental health. It is vital that we make a coordinated effort to create stimulating but safe opportunities for the running community in these unprecedented times.” – Andy Hully, Race Director, MK Marathon
RUNFEST organises a range of events across London including Richmond RUNFEST, AIR:RUN and the Kew Gardens 10k. RUNFEST hosted the largest COVID-secure mass participation event in the UK since the start of the pandemic in September, when 3,500 runners took part in the 2020 Kew Gardens 10k.
“We are proud to put our name behind this program. Our relatively small community event in South West London raised over £800,000 for 130 charities last year. In 2019, mass participation running events in the UK raised approx. £235 million for over 6,000 charities. This year’s shortfall is already having many affects for many local communities.” – Tom Bedford, Race Director, RUNFEST
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 a hugely exciting initiative for us to be involved in. In an industry that has faced unfathomable challenges over the last year, it is encouraging to see collaboration between these leading events to work towards a brighter future. We’re delighted that our technology and unique expertise can help drive Get Britain Running forward for the benefit of the whole industry.” – Tim Rogers, CEO, Realbuzz Group