Richmond Running Festival Press Release
28th July 2013
Mo Farah reveals the Richmond Running Festival course
Double Olympic champion Mo Farah will be providing running and fitness tips to a group of local school children at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, as he reveals the course for the inaugural Richmond Running Festival on Sunday 28 July.
Just two weeks before he heads to Moscow for the IAAF World Championships, Farah will take a group of 20 school children through a warm- up routine at Kew Gardens before giving them running technique advice and teaching about health and nutrition.
Farah, a former resident of the West London Borough who trained for years in Richmond Park, will formally launch details of the various races and courses for the first ever Richmond Running Festival due to be held in Old Deer Park on 22 September this year.
The Festival is part of Richmond's London 2012 Olympic legacy programme. It will include half marathon and 10km races for adults, with strong elite fields in each, plus a number of free-to-enter events for children of all ages from Year 1 primary to secondary school teenagers.
"I am delighted to be able to reveal the courses for this fantastic Festival," said the Olympic 5000m and 10,000m champion. "I have great memories of Richmond because my own career as a young runner was nurtured in this very borough which has such a rich running history.
"I am happy to see that Richmond is building on the legacy of London 2012 in this way. I am especially pleased that the Festival and Nike are encouraging local kids to get involved in running for free. It will give them a greatopportunity to experience the joy and sense of achievement you get when you cross that finish line."
Adults are invited to enter the Visit Richmond half marathon and Kew Gardens 10km races, while some 700 school children between the ages of 4 and 15 are expected to take part in afternoon races free of charge. Every child will receive a medal, a Nike t-shirt and a special autograph card signed by an Olympian.
The Festival at Old Deer Park will also be a fun family day out with local bands and DJs providing the music, while London Olympians will be on hand to help make it a true celebration of running and fitness.
The Festival's Race Director Tom Bedford said, "After many years working on events around the world, I have come to the conclusion that running events need a local touch and identity. The Borough of Richmond upon Thames is a gem in London's crown which our race routes will reveal in all its splendour.
"Richmond also has an impressive connection to running history. The London Marathon was conceived over a beer in this borough; the first parkrun was held in Teddington and parkruns are now taking over the world; and Mo Farah trained in Richmond and Bushy Park along with numerous international distance running stars from across the world.
"Like many, we were inspired by the London Olympics, and believe the summer of 2012 can live on in spirit through the Richmond Running Festival. If London 2012 taught us anything it is that sport is fun and a celebration of life."
Alan Watkinson, Mo Farah's former PE Teacher and now a School Sports Partnerships Manager, endorsed the Festival's aim of encouraging young people to take up sport.
"I want more young people to take part in competitive sport. Schools are part of the answer but we also need better community links with parents and sports clubs in the community who can share our fight and help change this current cultural problem.
"Mo had the potential and through the work of myself and his local running club's coach we were able to change his life and send him in a positive direction. Hopefully, the free kids' events supported by Nike can help encourage the next Mo to join a local club and kick start the 2012 legacy."
Paul Buckley Head of Visitor Services at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew said, "We are delighted to be hosting the start of the Richmond Running Festival and support a local event that promotes active lifestyles. Running in the Gardens is a rare privilege, and we are very excited about being part of this community event supporting Richmond's London 2012 Legacy programme."
Members of the media are invited to cover the Festival launch event at Kew Gardens where there will be opportunities for written and broadcast interviews, and to film and photograph Farah working with the school children. This will be Farah's last media opportunity before he goes to altitude training camp to prepare for the Moscow World Championships.
What: Richmond Running Festival Course Launch
Where: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB Head to Victoria Gate, fast track booth no.1. From there you will be directed to the Palm House.
When: 9am, Sunday 28 July 2013 Contact: Tom Bedford, Tel. 07736 281926;
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org - ends -
The 2013 Richmond Running festival will be held in Old Deer Park on Sunday 22 September.
For more information and details of how to enter the races go to: www.richmondrunningfestival.com/
Follow us on Twitter: @RichmondRunFest
10% of all race entry fees for the Richmond Running Festival (plus additional contributions and Gift Aid) will go directly to the Festival's two official charities: The Mo Farah Foundation (www.mofarahfoundation.org.uk) and Shooting Star Chase (www.shootingstarchase.org.uk).