Your Turn? Advice for entering your first race

By 27th April 201610k, Charity, Half Marathon

After watching Sunday’s London Marathon, did you force your way into your cupboard, past the ironing board, pull your trainers out from under the bike pump and picnic blanket, remove the dead spider, brush away the dust and say to yourself “I’m going to run a marathon next year”.  Watching the London Marathon is so motivational, either as part of the crowds lining the streets, or on the TV, and every year thousands of viewers will be inspired to run the magical route.  Don’t let it just be a dream, if all those ‘normal looking folks’ can do it, so can you.  Here’s some advice to get you started…

IMAG0829

Trainer Time

First of all, those trainers that you dusted off which were popular in the 90s, have probably had their day and you should get yourself a new pair.  There are all manner of highly technical running shoes out there now, which not only look good, but also do useful things such as flexibility in the right places, superior cushioning, traction, gait support and breathability.  It’s well worth a trip to a running shoe specialist, such as Reigate’s Simply Sports, who can provide expert advice on the right trainer for you.

Join the Club

For many people, one of joys of running is the quiet ‘me’ time.  However If you’re serious about running a long distance, but nervous about embarking on this kind of journey on your own, it’s worthwhile finding someone to train with, or better yet, joining a running club.  As well as the coaching, you will find seasoned runners to give you advice on technique and lengthening your runs.  Even if you enjoy the solitude of running, being part of a group once a week, can help with your speed, endurance and motivation on those tough days.  Unlike some of your friends, these people will not drift into a light sleep as you chat about your new glow in the dark kit, or a blow by blow account of your favourite routes.  They love it as much as you do!

Plan of Attack

Whether you’re training for your first 5K or a marathon, you should always have a strategy. It is strangely satisfying, marking off each training run from your plan on the fridge door – even if you’ve actually missed it, but feel that it’s wrong to leave it untouched!  A plan gives you focus, makes sure you train enough, but not too much – and helps you build up the miles at an appropriate speed so that you don’t over do it too early and end up with a jammy ankle.  Runner’s World is a fantastic source for plans, as well as just about any other running question that you might have.

Power Up

As well as a running programme, it’s worthwhile scheduling in some other strength/cross training.  It helps prevent injuries, improve general fitness, recovery and it can be fun to exercise in a different way at times when you’re struggling with your running mojo.  This can come in the form of a fitness class (like British Military Fitness), gym sessions, swimming, cycling, spinning,  etc.  It’s important to look after your core strength, and running alone won’t do that.  Yoga, Pilates or some other form of stretching is also equally important and can really help with the restoration of those tired legs.

Race, Race and Race Again

Running a marathon is a pretty daunting prospect on its own.  However if you start planning in some races over the coming months, you can stop it from seeming such a mammoth goal.  If you’re new to longer distances start with a 10K and move up to half-marathon distances a few months after that.  Reigate Priory Athletic Club have a 10K race in July, which you could then follow with Run Reigate’s Half Marathon on the 18th September.  Regular Saturday Park Runs can help you to monitor your speed progress too.  Runner’s World has a comprehensive race list for the year, from 5K to Ultra (should you be so inspired).

Giving Back

Finally, the odds of getting a ballot place for the London Marathon are slim: but don’t despair.  There are hundreds of places with charities looking for first time runners, as long as you can achieve the sponsorship goal which is usually around the £2,000+ mark.  Charity runners for the Virgin London Marathon have raised over £300 million to date, which is phenomenal.  Apart from supporting a fantastic cause, other benefits of running for a charity include the support they offer, running advice, cheer points, being part of a team, a post-race party with a free sports massage and of course, not to forget the all important t-shirt.  Why not start raising money for one of our charities when you sign up to compete in either our 10K or Half Marathon.

If however, in the coming weeks you decide against running a marathon, it’s still worth entering Run Reigate as we have 2 great challenging distances, a kids race and a fantastic community atmosphere in Priory Park for all the family to enjoy.  Plus you’ll have some lovely new trainers…

 

 

Run Reigate Half Marathon 10k 5k Races

Latest Event Update

It is with a heavy heart that due to the ongoing uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic we are announcing that it will not be possible for Run Series to deliver any of our physical events this year – this includes Run Gatwick, Run Reigate and Ride Reigate.

Although not altogether unexpected, this is disappointing for everyone involved. However, our priority, regardless of this pandemic, has always always been for the safety and wellbeing of you the runners as well as our volunteers, partners, charities, staff, supporters and the wider community without any of whom our events would just not be possible. Given that there remains vast uncertainty on how to best safely move forwards we do not feel it would be practically possible, or socially responsible, for us to stage these events this year and deliver a safe, fun and enjoyable experience for all.

This decision has been made in consultation with all local authorities who right now are also unable to guarantee availability of event venues. So what happens now? ​All runners and riders currently registered for our 2020 events will be​ automatically transferred to our 2021 events​ and so there is no action for you to take at this stage. We are working with the local authorities and event venues to finalise the 2021 dates and we will announce these very soon. For further details on transfers and deferrals etc, please take a look at our Q&As. We value your opinion.​ We have been thinking about some exciting things we could potentially do for our runners and cyclists in the coming months until we can once again safely host our large scale events. We’d love your input to make sure we’re on the right track so please complete our short survey below. To say thank you for taking part, you’ll be in with a chance to win one of 3 fantastic top-to-toe On Running kits worth over approx. £300​! We very much look forward to when we can all race again and come together with confidence and lighter hearts doing what we do best – Running as One. Until then we would like to say a very heartfelt thank you for your continued support throughout this time, your ongoing understanding is greatly appreciated.

David Kelly, Race Director on behalf of the whole Run Series Team.

_________________________________________________________________________

 

POSTPONEMENT Q&A's

We appreciate there will be lots of questions and we have tried to pre-empt those with a detailed Q&A’s which you can find here

In the unlikely situation that you cannot find the answer to your query, please email us at info@runseries.co.uk​. Due to a reduced working team we will do our very best to respond to your query within 5 working days.

Why did you decide to postpone the 2020 races to 2021?

We considered many alternative approaches to try and safely deliver Run Gatwick, Run Reigate and Ride Reigate with appropriate social distancing measures. However, after careful consideration, we made the difficult decision to postpone all mass participation events to 2021. Our decision was rooted in the best interests for the health and wellbeing of runners, supporters, volunteers, sponsors, suppliers and all those involved in making the running of these events possible. In addition the continued uncertainty over government guidelines for events significantly reduces the window of time needed to plan and deliver safely our full event experience.

Will my registered place for my event still hold for 2021?

Yes, your entry for your 2020 event will be valid for the 2021 race and will be automatically transferred over to the new date (date still TBC), you do not need to do anything else, we will contact you nearer to the event with all the usual information.

Is there a refund option available for these events?

Organising our event requires a considerable amount of forward planning and expense – and entry fees are used to support these costs, many of which are incurred long before event day. Your entry fees doesn’t only cover on the day costs like road closures, barriers, medals, t-shirts, Policing, medical provision, etc – they also help to cover the up front planning costs which include staff wages, risk assessments, safety measures, consultation with local businesses, supplier fees and licences – to name but a few. For these reasons the Run Series refund policy for all of our events has always been the same, we do not and cannot offer refunds. This is made clear in our ​terms and conditions​ ​– which all runners agree to upon registration.

What if I can’t make the new event date?

As soon as we are able to, we will announce our 2021 dates. If you are unable to make the new date, you will be able to defer your place to the following year, transfer to another of our events or transfer your place to another participant. All of these options will be free of charge.

What happens if my place was allocated by a charity partner?

As your charity place belongs to your charity, any decision about your place must be made by them. Details regarding the potential reallocation of charity places should be discussed with the relevant charity partner directly.

What will happen to the Run Gatwick England Athletics National Championships and Sussex Athletics Championships?

The 2021 Run Gatwick event will retain Championship status for both Sussex Athletics and England Athletics and all elite places will automatically have their entry deferred to the new 2021 event as detailed by Run Series in the coming weeks.

Will there be a virtual event instead?

We are currently exploring options and invite you to complete our survey and have your say. We will take on board your comments and make an announcement regarding this as soon as possible.

When announced, are the 2021 event dates guaranteed?

As much as we would like to, we cannot offer you certainty around rescheduled event dates as there are just too many factors out of our control. In a world that is changing so rapidly on a daily basis, the future is far from certain but we will do our best to honour our commitment to you and deliver a fantastic event experience in line with the government regulations in place at the time.

What happens with my iTAB/PacePocket order?

Your iTab/Pace Pocket order will be carried over to your 2021 event entry.