Post-lockdown races scheduled in south west London

How can we maintain our fitness and wellbeing during another lockdown now gyms are closed?

The outdoors could become even more of a focal point during the November lockdown despite the cold weather as we are able to meet one member of another household outside for exercise.

Having something to aim and train for too – such as a race date – could act as extra motivation.

After implementing big changes to successfully hold socially distanced events in autumn, Richmond RUNFEST and RunThrough races are scheduled in south west London post 2 December.

Here is a rundown of the upcoming events nearby and how the race organisers adapted for covid-safety.

Richmond RUNFEST – Marathon and AIR:10

Richmond RUNFEST’s marathon and AIR:10 runs are scheduled for 27 and 28 March 2021 – with both starting lines in Kew Gardens.

“It’s not just running, it’s mental and physical wellbeing,” said race director Tom Bedford.

The organiser held its first socially distanced races on 12 and 13 September in Kew Gardens.

Bedford said: “We consulted with the crowd science expert Marcel Altenburg who works with the Premier League.

“He simulated the race using past runner results to determine pinch points.”

The result was a new course with runners starting in groups of four, two metres apart, every three seconds – with no spectators allowed.

“We made our start and finish lines as wide as possible and it got wider after the finish line to prevent bottle necks,” Bedford added.

It was announced earlier in the year that NHS staff would be able to run for free in these events.

WIDE BERTH: Runners on the start line in Kew Gardens in September

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RunThrough Events

Clapham Common will host 5km and 10km races on Saturday 5 December.

Subsequent races – up to half marathon distances – are to follow in Crystal Palace, Wimbledon, Egham and Hampton Court.

RunThrough co-founder Matt Wood said: “We’re adapting quickly to different situations – it’s ever evolving.”

DON’T STOP: Runners receive inspiration on race day

RunThrough held its first event back in south west London on 6 September in Battersea Park after meticulous planning.

Wood said: “We got everyone’s predicted times in advance of the race and ordered the runners at the start line by the times that they’d given us.

“We essentially ranked everybody to naturally increase distance between runners.”

Runners began with timed gaps between groups to maintain distance.

GOING THE SOCIAL DISTANCE: Runners of the RunThrough event in Battersea Park are kept socially distanced as they approach the start line

John Gorst, 44, of Wimbledon Windmilers completed the race.

He said: “It was thoroughly enjoyable – everyone was respectful of distance.

“I think the staggered start really helped and was a simple instruction to follow.

“It worked out very well.”

PROUD: John Gorst lifts his finishers’ medal aloft after completing the 10km race

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South west London races scheduled post 2 December

December 2020

5 December – Clapham Common – 5km and 10km – SW4 9DE

13 December – Crystal Palace – 5km, 10km and half marathon – SE19 2GA

20 December – Wimbledon ‘Christmas Run’ – 5km and 10km – SW19 4UE

January 2021

31 January – Wimbledon Common – half marathon – SW15 3PQ

February 2021

7 February – Thorpe and Egham – 10km and half marathon – TW20 8NP

March 2021

21 March – Hampton Court Palace – half marathon – KT8 9AU

27 March – Richmond – marathon – TW9 3AF

28 March – Kew Gardens – AIR:10 – TW9 3AF

April 2021

11 April – Wimbledon Common – half marathon – SW15 3PQ

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