Mass running is officially back! The largest social distancing running event in the UK happened since lockdown 3.0 over the weekend. Over 2,000 runners got back to some sort of normality by running in a socially distanced 10K, all inside the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Runners were spread out over different allocated arrival times, holding zones, and then started 4 at a time in a successful first running event of this size in 2021.

Race Director, Tom Bedford said: “It’s been a long winter for many but this weekend felt like the return of some normality. Running outside is one of the safest sports you can do and we are going to need many more races and parkrun’s for us to tackle the next problem of the pandemic that is obesity and mental health issues.

“Our team have worked hard on making this event COVID safe and I would like to thank all of our runners who listened to the many safety requests our volunteer team made to them.

“My two standout moments of the event were welcoming our first ever wheelchair athlete to complete the course, and two panda’s running for the WWF charity who battled it out over the final sprint. This might sound crazy but for me two people dressed as pandas having a good time and running for charity is the normality of this sport that I look forward to returning.”

At the front of the race, Paulos Surafel ran the fastest time of the weekend with an impressive time of 29 minutes and 57 seconds. The ‘Queen of Richmond’s’ title went to Samantha Amend, who was the fastest lady over the weekend with a time of 37 minutes and 24 seconds.