What is The National Running Show?
The National Running Show is the UK’s first dedicated non-race affiliated event to focus solely on runners. The event initially launched in 2018, with the second taking place last weekend at Birmingham NEC. It’s timed perfectly so that runners and athletes can purchase products, adopt a brand and start training plans for the rest of the year.
21 partners played a role in making the event as great as it is. These include the likes of Athletics Weekly, Bad Boy Running, England Athletics, Runner’s World and UK Triathlon.
What products were launched at The National Running Show?
A few months back we told you how Polar were launching two new multisport fitness watches. These are now available and the Polar Vantage V was on show at The National Running Show. The watch introduces Polar’s Precision Prime wrist-based fusion heart rate technology and wrist-based running power. What’s more, it contains data for more than 130 sports and has a battery life of up to 40 hours.
Saucony do some incredibly comfortable light-weight running shoes, and have just launched their new Saucony Kinvara 10 Limited Editions.
Swiss running brand, On, also launched a new pair of trainers – Cloudsurfers. The shoes feature On Speedboard which captures energy, transitions it to the forefoot and results in an explosive take-off.
New Balance didn’t disappoint too, launching three new products. My favourite was the Fresh Foam Zante Pursuit trainers which are available for both men and women. Super-lightweight shoes, these offers a snug, adaptive fit that don’t weigh you down.
For long-distance and endurance runners, this one’s for you: Camelbak have launched the Women’s Ultra Pro Vest. Designed by women, for women, the latest Ultra Pro Vest has new features,and uses differnet fabrics for a better fit. At The National Running Show, women were able to get fitted and pre-order theirs ahead of the official launch.
ASICS also launched new trainers, the GEL-NIMBUS 21. Perfect for those wanting lasting comfort and bounce, the trainers are the most advanced model featuring ASICS’s latest FLYTEFOAM. They also come in various colours for men and women.
Plantronics launched two sets of headphones; the BackBeat Fit 3100 and the BackBeat Fit 2100. Both sets are wireless with Always Aware eartips. One set is two separate headphones and the other set is connected.
SKINS were due to showcase their newly launched DNAmic Ultimate compression range. Unfortunately there was no stand set up where they were noted to be on the floorplan. I’m guessing they couldn’t make it, so I couldn’t find out more.
All in all there were over 170 brands under one roof, with a whole variety of special offers, discounts, freebies and limited releases up for grabs.
Who were the running experts at The National Running Show?
Ask The Experts sessions were available throughout the entire weekend, with six tables full of experts available at any given time for attendees to get advice.
DW Fitness and Intersport featured on almost all time slots, with other experts including Brendan Rendall, Nikki Love, Jude Palmer and Paul Evans. Sessions were on a first-come-first-served basis, but each time I walked past there was typically one table free each time. Experts were on hand to answer questions about injury prevention, technique, nutrition and more. This, for me, is one of the most important areas at The National Running Show. How often will you have chance to speak to the experts otherwise?!
Who spoke on the Main Stage at The National Running Show?
Some of the biggest runners had keynote slots on the Main Stage at the National Running Show and there wasn’t an empty seat. In fact, people were sat on the floor, stood all around and filling every empty space to get a good view of the stage.
Susie Chan and Ben Smith were the co-chairs for the two days, inviting alll speakers onto stage.
On day 1, the stage was graced with the likes of Iwan Thomas, Alex Cook, Brendan Rendall and Vassos Alexander. On day 2, Paula Radcliffe was the first to get up and speak (after cutting the ribbon to the show), followed by the likes of David Hellard, Jenny Baker, Allie Bailey and Nell McAndrew to close the event.
Speakers spoke about their personal experiences, as well as putting mind over matter, science vs reality, not being afraid of a DNF, breaking barriers, fuelling your run and more.
What were the interactive features at The National Running Show?
I had so much fun standing around and watching attendees getting involved with the interactive features. Every time I looked at one, the queues were long and people were eager to get involved.
Over at The Nutrition Advice Zone nutritionist Kate Percy was performing live recipe demos; there was a friendly competition and gait analysis being done over at The Treadmill Try Outs; and the Testing Track, sponsored by Intersport, always had someone on the track, checking their running form, testing out footwear and more.
Alongside this, there was a Treatment Room where you could lie down, be shown stretches and get short bursts of treatment, with flexibility also being tested at The MSK Clinic.
The most fascinating for me was watching people getting a 3D Gait analysis done. We did a few posts a while back on ‘is gait analysis worth it?‘ and ‘why gait analysis works‘ and these have been very well received – they taught me a thing or two! And then seeing a gait analysis being done at The National Running Show was great; it’s far more indepth than I realised. Spaces were snapped up, so next year be sure to book in early. Or if you don’t want to wait a year, chains (including DW Fitness) do them in-store for free.
Is it worth going to The National Running Show?
100% yes. I had so much fun walking around, learning new things, speaking to experts, speaking to people on stands, watching the runners talk on the Main Stage, sampling products and spending money on new workout gear.
Whether you go for a few hours or you go all day, both days – you’re going to take so much away!
The National Running Show 2020
The National Running Show will be returning in 2020. The third consecutive event is due to take place on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th January. Some great names have already been lined up for us, including
- Linford Christie – Europe’s greatest ever 100m sprinter)
- Sally Gunnell – British track star
- Kriss Akabusi – 3-time Olympic medalist
- Dean Karnazes – ultramarathoner
Be sure to keep an eye out over the coming days/weeks as I learnt a lot at The National Running Show and am going to be sharing all sorts with you!
In the meantime, if you want to get involved in running, be sure to check out our Events Calendar to see what’s coming up in a town or city near you!