Get Britain Running
Five of Britain’s leading participation sporting events have joined forces to create Get Britain Running, a brand new partnership that aims to facilitate collaboration and innovation to support the wider mass participation industry through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Made up of Front Runner Events, Running High Events Ltd, Rees Leisure, MK Marathon and RUNFEST, Get Britain Running is founded on three core principles, which provide the driving force behind all activities carried out by the partnership:
IMPROVING HEALTH: Before the COVID-19 pandemic almost two-thirds (63%) of adults in England were already overweight and unfit, obesity rates in the UK having nearly tripled since 1975. During the first national lockdown physical activity levels across England plummeted further, with 30 per cent of the adult population being ‘inactive’ between March and May, and almost 12 million adults doing almost no exercise. (Source: Sport England Active Lives Adults Survey – Coronavirus Report)
Recent studies have shown that being overweight and unfit also increases your risk of catching COVID-19 and increases your risk of serious complications, hospitalisation and death from COVID-19. (Source: Public Health England – Excess Weight and COVID-19 – Jul 2020)
Get Britain Running encourages people to get active, whilst also promoting the benefits of exercise in combating the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and obesity.
The campaign encourages the government and local authorities to place the promotion of exercise at forefront of the recovery plan from COVID-19, and to review restrictions on races in line with consistent evidence of the low risk of transmission of COVID-19 at outdoor participation sporting events.
In the meantime, a series of officially-licensed virtual events from Get Britain Running’s event organisers will enable people from all walks of life to improve their exercise habits by working towards a goal and earning rewards and medals. Runners will be able to share their progress and find training tips on realbuzz Club, the official online community platform for Get Britain Running
RAISING AWARENESS: Participation sporting events have been among the most significantly impacted industries as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 93% of UK running race organisers have reported a loss in revenue in 2020 as reported by Sports Business.
Running is the most popular sport in the UK, enjoyed by 7.5 million adults each week. Running is also the most accessible of participation sports, requiring minimal equipment or infrastructure. (Source: Sport England Active Lives Adults Survey)
Running was one of only two sports to see a significant increase in participation during the first national lockdown, whilst restrictions on gyms, leisure centres and team sports caused general physical activity levels to plummet across England. (Source: Sport England Active Lives Adults Survey – Coronavirus Report)
Get Britain Running aims to research, document and circulate supporting evidence and guidelines for enabling COVID-19-compliant participation sporting events. Current guidelines need to be amended in line with consistent evidence of the low risk of transmission of COVID-19 at outdoor participation sporting events and expanded to ensure events of all sizes are covered, empowering race organisers to provide participants with safe and secure environments with minimal impact on the race day experience. The partnership will also raise wider awareness of the challenges faced by the industry, lobbying for action and financial support from the sport’s governing bodies and the government.
SUPPORTING CHARITIES: Many of the UK’s charities rely on mass participation events for a significant percentage of their fundraising revenues. With supporters unable to take part in events, the majority of these fundraising revenues have been slashed in 2020.
Get Britain Running aims to provide support and give charities a platform to raise awareness of the challenges they are facing. A series of fundraising initiatives will be implemented through virtual events to give charity supporters an avenue to continue their fundraising in the temporary absence of physical events. The Get Britain Running charity programme will be facilitated by the team at Realbuzz Group, who were the driving force behind the huge increase in mass participation event fundraising over the last 15 years.
Great Britain Running will incorporate a website and virtual events series created by Realbuzz Group. Runners can sign up to officially licensed virtual versions of events from all Get Britain Running event organisers, with a unique series medal on offer for runners who complete all five events. Realbuzz Group also provides runners with training tips through their realbuzz Club platform, which provides community tools, training plans and Q&A podcasts for users.
For more information on Get Britain Running, search for the #GetBritainRunning hashtag on social media.
The Get Britain Running partnership:
Organisers of the Bath Half Marathon, the largest single-day charity fundraising event in the South West. With over 15,000 entries the annual Bath Half Marathon (or ‘Bath Half’ as it is affectionately known) is one of the most popular and prestigious mass-participation road races in the UK.
We are delighted to support this initiative to help raise the profile of the most popular sport in the UK and the important role that running and physical fitness can play in helping to beat the COVID and the obesity pandemics
Andrew Taylor, Race Director, Bath Half Marathon
Mass participation and fundraising specialists, Realbuzz Group works with a range of global events to provide online entry solutions and charity fundraising programmes.
Get Britain Running is a hugely exciting initiative for us to be involved in. In an industry that has faced unfathomable challenges over the last year, it is encouraging to see collaboration between these leading events to work towards a brighter future. We’re delighted that our technology and unique expertise can help drive Get Britain Running forward for the benefit of the whole industry.
Tim Rogers, CEO, Realbuzz Group