Thousands of runners across the west of England are preparing their training schedules ahead of the region's flagship event on Sunday 5 May. The Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10K is the first half of a big race city double with September's Great Bristol Half Marathon.
Hundreds of clubs and groups make the 10k the focus of their spring training and create a great pre-race buzz ahead of the big day. The event will also provide an examination for students from two of Bristol's leading academic institutions as the Universities of Bristol and the West of England have both pledged to field large teams for the race.
Like a large percentage of the race entrants, dozens of students and staff will be taking part in their first 10k. Kirsty Tomlinson, Varsity Events Manager for the two institutions, welcomed the partnership with event organisers Great Run.
"The Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10K is a huge event for the city and we are delighted to be a part of it. Initiatives such as this, which will help and encourage our students and staff to get more active, are great for us and exercise helps both physical and mental well-being."
Another group who are emphasising the mental, as well as the fitness, benefits of training and taking part in a 10k is This Mum Runs. The group's Sarah Pinch ran her first 10k in Bristol in 2017 and hasn't looked back. Her preparation was with This Mum Runs; she took part in two running courses with them and as her ability improved she decided to enter the Simplyhealth Great Bristol 10K.
Sarah said: "I'm a busy professional mum. When I started running, I found it gave me some much-needed headspace. It was a revelation to find how easily it let me tune out of the constant to do list in my head. I’ve appreciated feeling better, feeling fitter and have come to realise that a strong body helps a stronger mind.”
Sarah will be back with This Mum Runs in May as part of a challenging 2019 personal race programme.
The city's students, Sarah and her This Mum Runs chums will join thousands of club, recreational and charity runners to enjoy an iconic course which starts on Anchor Road near Millennium Square runs and parallel to the historic Bristol Harbour before continuing along Avon Gorge and taking in the world famous Clifton Suspension Bridge.
The return route takes in Spike Island and the Cumberland Basin before passing the soaring Gothic St Mary Redcliffe, where runners might look for the inspiration to get them to the finish line back on Anchor Road.
Participants can also expect a brilliant race day vibe. Last year 30 firefighters ran dressed in their full kit and carrying a 6m long ladder while Bristol mayor, Marvin Rees acted as a guide for a blind competitor and the pair received great support around the course. As did the firefighters, all the charity runners and club and recreational runners who were inspired by amazing and vocal support from a huge West Country crowd.
TO ENTER OR TO FIND OUT MORE VISIT THE GREAT RUN WEBSITE