Richmond’s hugely popular two day running festival basked in sunshine this weekend at the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Gardens. 8,000 runners laced up for the realbuzz.com Richmond RUNFEST, joined by proud family and friends.

To add to celebrations, the race team also announced the 2019 race dates: 14th and 15th September, the seventh edition of the RUNFEST. Entries are now open at www.richmondrunfest.com

3,000 runners took on Saturday’s Kew Gardens 10k, with Michael Shelley crowned King of Richmond (finish time 30:21). Joining Michael on the podium as Queen of Richmond was 23 year old, Rebecca Murray in 34.40. Michael said of his win: “It’s my first time here at RUNFEST, the course is beautiful. It’s flat so I ran as hard as I could. The twists and turns took some mastering but I’m pleased with my result. It really is an incredible event, the organisation, marshals and spectator support is unreal. Congratulations to everyone!”

The brand new Richmond 5km, Pirate Run saw Imogen Parker-Elms, 14 from Twickenham, take the win in a time of 20:45: “I loved it, such a fun atmosphere with the pirates and mermaids. I can’t believe I won!”

2,700 laced up for Sunday’s half marathon with Ollie Garrod of Epsom and Ewell Harriers storming the 13.1 miles in 01:10:42. In first spot for the women’s race was Phillipa Williams, 25, crossing the line in 01.21.53.

The marathon treated 1,000 runners to one of London’s most scenic 26.2 routes, described by one finisher as “not just a race, a platform where people share a love story that is beyond any imagination.” She went on to say: “We run together, sweat together, experience all sorts of pains together but we never stop encouraging each other.”

Nick Earl, City of Norwich Athletics Club took the win in 02:32:33: “I’m blown away by the event, the atmosphere was amazing and I have to say the volunteers made it! I kept to my race strategy for the full 26 miles, so I’m pleased. I’m training for the Melbourne marathon in just a few weeks’ time so this event was perfect for me.” Joining Nick on the winners’ thrones was Melissah Gibson (race time 02:59:51). “I’m so happy to sneak under the 3 hour mark. I’ve run 60 marathons now with 8 of them under 3 hours. Finishing 3rd in yesterday’s 10k race with a PB, I am chuffed with my performance. Richmond RUNFEST really is a treat of a race!”

Great Ormond Street Hospital fundraiser and half marathon runner, Eleanor Eden, 23 from Balham said: “When I was younger I received so much support from the team at GOSH and I wanted to give something back. I feel lucky to be able to enjoy running and seeing people not as fortunate as me at the hospital, it really hits home, I want to do all I can to help. I’m on my way to fundraising £1,000 from this event.”

With more charity runners than ever before lacing up for the 2018 event, the race, now in its sixth year, is well on its way to fundraising a staggering £2million. Since day one, in September 2013, an incredible 30,000 people have been inspired to take up running and enjoy the Richmond festival, all part of London’s Olympic Legacy plans, created by Race Directors, Tom and Jade Bedford.

Tom Bedford, Race Director sends his congratulations to all who took part this weekend; “A massive thankyou to those who made the festival possible, our host, partners, charities and volunteers. Every year we are excited to see the line-up of our amazing runners, young, old, new and competitive athletes.

“The commitment of our runners and their fundraising efforts for charities so close to their hearts is just incredible. This year was no different and we are immensely proud to support our headline, Great Ormond Street Hospital and partner charities. We’re on our way to hitting £2million charity donations, an incredible achievement for every single person involved!

“We have already opened the 2019 race registrations – this year was a huge success but with my amazing team around me, I know next year will be even bigger and better. We’ll see you on the start line next September.”

Being the greenest and most sustainable event in its history, RUNFEST partnered with Lucozade this weekend to trial revolutionary product Ooho, gels encased in an edible and compostable outer layer; an exciting step forward to find plastic alternatives at mass-participation sporting events.

The 2019 realbuzz.com Richmond RUNFEST will take place 14th and 15th September 2019 and is now open for entries. Be sure to grab your spot today.

For the full 2018 results and event information visit www.richmondrunfest.com