With just days before realbuzz.com Richmond RUNFEST 2018 on 15-16 September, the joint race directors have announced an important new partnership – their own! Tom Bedford and Jade Parker were married in June at Kew Gardens, host venue for the successful Kew Gardens 10K, Richmond Half Marathon and Richmond Marathon events that underpin the entire realbuzz.com Richmond RUNFEST race weekend.
Running and charity are themes close to the heart of Tom Bedford, a former English Schools champion. He once won a bet made in the pub that he couldn't run a sub-2:25 marathon by, literally, cartwheeling across the line at Dublin 2009 in 2:24:10 to raise £10,000 for worthy causes. Jade worked for Tom at the London Marathon Expo 2011 – the start of a long running partnership that has seen Jade go under four hours in the London Marathon this year.
The London 2012 Olympic Games inspired Tom to launch Richmond RUNFEST as an Olympic legacy event in September 2013, with race partner Kew Gardens welcoming 2,000 runners, plus 500 children, to one of London's most beautiful and exclusive locations for running.
The goal then, as it is now, was to encourage children and adults to experience the joys of running, receiving a medal and wearing the race themed T-shirt with pride. Equally important was the opportunity to raise vital funds for charity and for families to celebrate together with a food and music festival atmosphere in an attractive environment.
After consistent growth and the addition of extra events, the sixth Richmond RUNFEST finds former St Mary's University, Twickenham students Tom and Jade Bedford at the helm as a married couple. This year's theme is Peter Pan and there are 800 free places for children to run a mile in Old Deer Park. More than 2,000 have signed up for charity places and headline charity partner Great Ormond Street Hospital is set to benefit from the record entry.
The brand new Richmond 5K: The Pirate Run and Saturday's NIKE Kid's Mile and Family Mile are still open for entries and these events will be held entirely within the confines of Old Deer Park, with numerous Peter Pan themed surprises.
Richmond RUNFEST has inspired 30,000 to run for the first time or further than ever before and raised nearly £2 million for national and local charities. For the latest race information visit Richmond RUNFEST website here
Images courtesy realbuzz.com Richmond RUNFEST/Nikki Pettit