The stage is set for the seventh realbuzz.com Richmond RUNFEST on 14-15 September. Since 862 runners finished the inaugural Kew Gardens 10K in 2013, RUNFEST has grown to a sold out, six race programme with a real buzz about the entire weekend.
Race Director couple Tom and Jade Bedford were married in June last year at Kew Gardens, venue for the original Kew Gardens 10K; Richmond Half Marathon and Richmond Marathon races that anchor the entire Richmond RUNFEST programme.
Tom and Jade have nurtured their 'baby' and added a new race on Saturday evening: graze Richmond Sundown 5K starting at 7:00pm and qualifying for the special Goddess of Victory medal for completing any two adult races over the weekend.
Richmond RUNFEST has now inspired 35,000 to run for the first time or further than ever before and raised more than £2 million for national and local charities. There were nearly 8,000 finishers in the six events last year and 10,000 is a realistic target for 2019.
Last year's events and finishers were: Kew Gardens 10K (3,136); Richmond Half Marathon (2,610); Richmond Marathon (856); Pirate Run 5K (214); Kids 500m (223); Kids Mile (627).
Main changes to the evolving programme this year are the time and title of graze Richmond Sundown 5K, with sponsorship and post race snacks from graze healthy foods. Saturday's Kids Mile and 500m races will be fully sold, with 1,000 competitors from reception to year 11. On Sunday the emphasis changes to Richmond Family Mile, with no time pressures but a medal and NIKE T-shirt to all bib wearing runners.
Kew Gardens and Old Deer Park have to be among London's most beautiful locations for running and River Thames path based courses for the two longest races are claimed to be the flattest in the capital. RUNFEST Food and Fitness Expo takes place all weekend in Old Deer Park, alongside a music festival and Fuller's bar, with a free beer for all adult competitors.