Review of The Running Awards!
The evening was well attended, and the champagne reception provided a great opportunity to mingle and meet a number of people. I was fortunate enough to meet Will Ross, founder of zafiri, who was covering the event in his guise as journo for the Huffington Post, a friendly lady from CLIC Sargent who headed up the team who look after their runners (I’m so sorry, I can’t remember her name!) and two ladies from the other side of the pond who had an exciting Mio heart-rate monitor that you wore just like a watch, that doesn’t need a chest strap. Time moved on quickly and before I knew it, I was full of champagne and we were being shimmied into the main room where we would spend the rest of the evening. I was sat on a table with a bunch of other bloggers, and got chatting away to Simon Freeman and his wife, who were kind enough to give me and my brother-in-law (my guest for the evening) a copy each of their wonderful, beautifully crafted publication, entitled ‘Like the Wind.’ I urge you to seek out a copy of it at the likethewind website. Simon has the amazing claim to fame that his marathon pb is 2 hours 37 minutes…how fast is that?!! He has now, without even knowing it, set me a challenge: to beat him! The food was delicious, especially the main course, which was very beautifully cooked lamb. Here’s another picture from the evening, which was presented by Mike Bushell, BBC News Sports presenter.
Laura Wright also spoke to the audience about her challenge to sing ‘Jerusalem’ at the halfway point of the London Marathon on Tower Bridge. Did you see her?! The event was a complete joy from start to finish and I wouldn’t hesitate to attend next year’s Awards, after this impressive inaugural event. But…come on barefoottc, there has to be a but, doesn’t there? Well, seeing as you’re asking me to give some constructive feedback on the night, and what I’d do to improve it, here goes! The charity award was announced a week before the night (or longer) and a lot of the evening centred on CLIC Sargent. We listened to Nigel Crutchley’s heart-rending story of his son’s battle with cancer and how well the charity had supported the family and in particular, his son, Ben. While I listened, the cynic in me couldn’t quite marry up the fact that this was a Running Awards ceremony, and not a Charity fundraising event. Or maybe I misread the information? A significant part of the evening was spent effectively ‘selling’ the charity to the captive audience. Perhaps that was just my own, selfish view in amongst a sea of people happy to lap it all up. I’d hoped to hear from all of the winners of the various awards across the industry, but no speeches were allowed by any of the winners…oh, except for the charity that won the award, of course. So, if I was organising next year’s event, I would seriously consider the way in which time was allocated to the different elements of the evening. I felt really quite disappointed not to hear from the winners in the various categories. Imagine, you attend the Oscars for movies, or the Brits for music, and instead of hearing from any of the actors, directors, or musicians, you instead hear talks about how great a charity is, a very sobering story of a family’s anguish and plight, and then have time left in which you can fill cards in to donate, before the awards get handed out in the blink of an eye? What else? Very little, actually. The event ran very smoothly, even if I didn’t agree with the running order, or time allocation. Mike Bushell did a great job in hosting the event, and sped through the huge number of facets of the evening effortlessly. He also made some jokes that were funny! Oh – maybe they could give me an award too?! That would be really nice! I didn’t win, or finish in the top three, but it was such a great experience to be there. After the awards were over, my brother-in-law and I made a point of getting to chat with Mike Bushell and Charlie Webster, and I also went over to congratulate the veggie runners, the deserving winners of the Best Blog award. They were a friendly and approachable mother and daughter pair, who are really into their food and fitness. You should check out their blog!
And, after all the champagne, fine food, and chatting, my brother-in-law and I had a scenic trip back to his apartment, for a few hours rest before embarking on Southwark parkrun on Saturday morning. You can find where I finished and my time by checking out my activity on strava here: http://www.strava.com/activities/129334562 Our scenic trip back to my brother-in-law’s apartment:
Sadly, I didn’t manage to catch up with the Strava dudes who were over from San Francisco to help everyone #stravaproveit at the London Marathon, but I did manage to check out the London Marathon expo. Definitely worth a look, but more so if you’re running in the marathon or have cash to burn! I had neither race entry or cash to burn, so I went, I saw, and I returned back home! A fleeting visit to the capital, but an enjoyable one – one that I hope to repeat next year if I’m still writing my blog then, and if I get nominated again!
Have you ever been to a running awards ceremony? What was it like? Did you win anything?