University of Bristol: Runners in 15 countries take part in Bristol Run Series

The Bristol Run Series has been hailed a “major success”, as the University announced it had raised nearly £2,000 for charity and would be returning next year.

The free events – launched to fill the gap left by pandemic-cancelled races – saw runners logging their attempts on apps before sending in their results to the University. The 5k took place in March, the 10k in May and the half marathon in September.

Results flew in from 1,113 (and counting) people, with runs logged in 15 different countries, including Thailand, Romania, Singapore, Ireland, Greece, Canada and the US. Most runs were logged in Bristol.

Runners were given free access to training programmes and advice curated by the University’s professional coaches.

In total the runners covered 10,408 miles, the equivalent of Bristol to Sydney. While some were running and walking the distances for the first time, others established new PBs.

Matt Birch, the University’s Director of Sport, Exercise and Health, said: “It’s been fantastic to see people across Bristol, the UK and the rest of the world getting inspired to take on the Bristol Run Series.

“Although in-person races are returning, because the Run Series was such a major success we have decided to bring it back next year.

“Not everyone likes the bustle of a running pack and having a virtual race in the diary gives people a great motive to train. We’ve heard from so many people not just how good the Series was for their physical health, but also their mental wellbeing.”

Every entrant was eligible for a medal for each of the three races. The medals featured iconic Bristol landmarks, with all three interlocking to make a complete scene.

This year’s Run Series raised £1,829 for charity. A total of £1095 (plus gift aid) went to the University’s student mental health initiative Healthy Minds, while £734 (plus gift aid) went to NHS Charites Together, a network of 240 charities supporting our National Health Service.

Ellie Orton OBE, Chief Executive of NHS Charities Together, said the charity was “so grateful” for the fundraising efforts.

“The money raised will go towards supporting NHS staff, volunteers and patients both practically and emotionally, now and in the longer term as the NHS recovers from the most challenging time in its history,” she added.

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