In the carb-loading hours of Friday night, results of the inaugural The Running Awards were announced at a gala in central London, contributing to another glorious weekend for the city's reputation in the running world. Winners were decided after 40,000 members of the public cast votes in support of their favourite products and services for running.
BBC's Mike Bushell conducted proceedings, sharing his experiences of the sport, from the tribulations of the Hertfordshire cross-country championships as an 11-year-old, to running with the Hash House Harriers in the Malaysian jungle. Major winners were the running team from CLIC Sargent, voted as Runners' Favourite Charity alongside one of their ambassadors, Nigel Crutchley, who was awarded the Running Hero accolade as he moves closer to his target of raising £1m for the charity.
Other notable runners in attendance included soprano Laura Wright and Sky Sports News presenter Charlie Webster. There to present some of the awards, Wright also announced her intention to sing 'Jerusalem' at Tower Bridge during her London Marathon. Webster, winner of the Runners' Challenge award, spoke about her remarkable 250-mile, 7-day run which she completed to raise money for Women's Aid in support of her stance against domestic violence.
When it came to awards for best retail experience, Gosport running shop Absolute Running was awarded Favourite Small Retailer after just a year in business while Sweatshop topped the competitive etailer category. In the products categories, Rocktape snapped up top accessory with Ashmei and Nike taking most popular men's and women's clothing respectively. Brooks swept the floor with two shoes from their Adrenaline series, favourites in men's and women's footwear. Not surprisingly, Garmin won best gadget GPS while Aftershokz grabbed the award for most popular non-GPS gadget.
In the digital running world, Strava Run GPS was awarded Best App while in Best Blog, Veggie Runners took first place over two other charismatic blogs, Lunges & Lycra and Dreaming of Footpaths. Marathon Talk won favourite Podcast while Run Mummy Run, a site for female runners to find others in their area, topped the website category.
Nominees for the events categories stretched as far as Loch Ness, Galan in Wales, and Gosport on the south coast. Ultimately, Nos Galan 5km was awarded Favourite Fun Run with Southport Mad Dog taking the 10k award, The Major Series - South the Trail Race, Ealing Half Marathon for the Half, and the recent Asics Greater Manchester the award for Favourite Full Marathon after a successful race earlier this month in which both male and female course records were broken.Suggest a correction