Big Fun Run 5K Series Returns in 2018!


After the success of the Big Fun Run Series last year, the events are set to return in 2018 and are promised to be bigger and better than ever!

Taking place from July – October and set in some of the most scenic parks throughout the UK, the 5K events are aimed at all members of the family with FREE entry for children under 5.

With 3 brand new events added to this years’ line-up in Eastbourne, Gateshead and Middlesbrough, the 20 event-long series begins down in the South Coast in Brighton on 14th July and then makes its way throughout the UK. Locations include Scotland, the North West, North East, Midlands and South East before finishing in London with a Halloween-themed run in Victoria Park on 28th October.

Big Fun Run events are the perfect way for runners to fundraise for a cause they really care about. Last year, over £220,000 was raised for charity and the series is brilliantly supported by hundreds of charities all throughout the UK.

Mike Womack from Lymm took part in last years Manchester event at Heaton Park alongside “Anderson’s Army” – an approximately 100 strong group of friends and family in memory of his wife Sophie who past away aged 33 after a brave battle with Bowel Cancer in March 2017.

After Sophie’s passing, Anderson’s Army decided to do something positive to remember her and aimed to raise money for two charities close to Sophie’s heart: Beating Bowel Cancer and The Christie. With an initial target of £5,000 the team have raised a staggering £9,300 to date.

“A 5K is a great distance which everyone can get involved with” Mike said. “There was a complete mixture of running abilities with us on the day from friends who have ran marathons to Sophie’s dad, Keith, who has taken up running at 69 specifically for Big Fun Run and done amazingly well with his training. There was also a good number of friends walking with children and every ability in between all of these.”

“Sophie was an inspiration to us all in the way she remained so positive throughout her treatment. We all miss her every day.”

Big Fun Run Event Director, Neil Kilgour said: “Tens of thousands of people take part in Big Fun Run every year, it attracts people of all shapes, sizes and ages. No event is timed, it is all about having fun and raising funds for a charity close to your heart.

“Each run has a friendly atmosphere whilst offering an achievable challenge”.

“It is a great event for all the family and it is not unusual to see grandma, mum and daughter all lining up together at the startline. We also have many people taking part in fancy dress to add to the feel good atmosphere.”

The Big Fun Run promises a fun, relaxed atmosphere and is the perfect challenge to set yourself in 2018. To find out more about the 2018 Series and find events near you, visit www.bigfunrun.com.

The 2018 Big Fun Run events are:

  • Brighton – 14th July 2018
  • Southampton – 15th July 2018
  • Leeds – 21st July 2018
  • Nottingham – 22nd July 2018
  • Glasgow – 28th July 2018
  • Edinburgh – 29th Luly 2018
  • Maidstone – 4th August 2018
  • Eastbourne *New for 2018* – 5th August 2018
  • Derby – 11th August 2018
  • Sheffield – 12th August 2018
  • Manchester – 18th August 2018
  • Liverpool – 19th August 2018
  • Ipswich – 1st September 2018
  • Milton Keynes – 2nd September 2018
  • Birmingham – 8th September 2018
  • Coventry – 9th September 2018
  • Gateshead *New for 2018* – 20th October 2018
  • Middlesbrough *New for 2018* – 21st October 2018
  • London Crystal Palace Park – 27th October 2018
  • London Victoria Park – 28th October 2018
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Festive Season Running Tips


As the work parties and social gatherings have eased off as we have entered 2019, you’d be forgiven for over-indulging and missing out on some running! But if you’re feeling extra determined this year, we’ve got some top tips to help you keep fit this winter!

Become an early riser
Why not set an alarm and get your run done nice and early? It’s a great feeling having it under your belt and knowing the rest of the day is yours to relax! Will it be cold? Probably – but winter mornings can also be pretty beautiful things to behold.

Don’t be self-righteous
You might be really enjoying the feeling of keeping fit while family members pour prosecco onto their cornflakes, but don’t go gloating! An endorphin-charged runner sitting on their high-horse is sure to ruffle some turkey feathers.

Get into the spirit
There are plenty of festive fun runs coming up in the next few weeks, so why not get yourself entered into one? Get some friends together and have a laugh with it!

Don’t expect any PBs

A few cheeky treats are inevitable and Christmas food is certainly more conducive to steady running than a max out effort! So don’t put too much pressure on yourself, just go out and enjoy running for the sake of running!

Most importantly… enjoy!

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#GivingTuesday – A Global Movement


We’re grateful, humbled and proud that our event provides a fundraising platform for so many runners each year. Every act of generosity counts, and each means even more when we give together.

Sean McAllister ran this year for our official charity partner Cancer Research UK, here is his story:

‘Cancer is a subject very close to my heart. When I lost my dad, I lost my best friend. It’s a horrible illness and I would like to do anything I can to prevent others going through what my dad, myself and my family went through during his illness.

At the beginning the prognosis was positive, as they believed the cancer was only in the prostate. A further scan showed something the doctor described as “suspicious” on his liver. But they focussed on treating the prostate, initially with hormone treatment and later with chemotherapy, resolving to revisit the liver after the chemotherapy was complete.

My dad only managed three sessions of chemo and there were further complications. His health went downhill rapidly and sadly throughout his illness he was in a lot of pain. When tests showed it was terminal the doctor said he had possibly six to eight weeks, but he died seven days later at home surrounded by his family.

This year was my first experience of fundraising, but I am looking to do more in the future. I felt a lot of pride running so close to the passing of my dad. It was a great way to remember him; the devoted, hardworking, family man.’

Cancer Research UK is dedicated to finding kinder, more effective treatments for cancer. If you’ve been inspired, why not make your next challenge really count by signing up to run for charity at a Big Fun Run near you in 2018 when entries open. Click here to find out more.

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Family take on fun run together to help beat best friend Catriona’s cancer

Family take on fun run together to help beat best friend Catriona’s cancer

Katy Rogerson, her husband Steve and their two children Jessica, aged 9 and Benjamin, aged 6 are taking part in Big Fun Run Crystal Palace this weekend to raise money for family friend Catriona’s cancer treatment.

Katy and Catriona have been best of friends for nearly 25 years and have remained close ever since they met back when they were teenagers.

Catriona lives in Ireland with her husband Jon and has 4 children aged between 10 months and 8 years old. Aged only 37, Catriona suffers from aggressive osteoporosis which has resulted in her developing serious spinal fractures after a complication during one of her pregnancies. As well as a blood clot on her lung Catriona has devastatingly found out she has cancer with a large tumor growing rapidly on her kidney.

Catriona’s family and friends are rallying together to raise funds to help her complete life-saving treatment in Germany and hopefully save her kidney. The treatment Catriona requires is currently unavailable in the UK.

“Catriona doesn’t focus on her problems and continues on with a positive attitude. She is always smiling and is a great Mum to her lovely children. She has always been there for me over the years and is an amazing friend. I would do anything for her and this little bit of fundraising I can do will really help” Katy explained.

The Rogerson’s wanted to do something together as a family and they love spending time at Crystal Palace Park making Big Fun Run an ideal fundraising challenge for them.

Reflecting on their 5k challenge Katy said: “This is quite a big challenge for us as we are a family who loves staying at home and watching films. We have been doing a little training trying to get more active by visiting our local green space, outdoor gym and taking the kids out on their bikes to prepare for the challenge. To all those who would do anything for their best friend, we would be so grateful for your help”.

You can support The Rogerson’s fundraising for Catriona’s cancer treatment here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/katyrogerson

To read more about Catriona’s story visit: https://www.gofundme.com/help-my-mammy-get-well

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Team FMI

Team FMI

Shout out to Team FMI who completed Big Fun Run Milton Keynes to raise money for our Official Charity Partner Cancer Research UK whilst having lots of fun along the way!

FMI are a small brand engagement agency with a fantastic close knit team of people. Sadly earlier this year FMI’s Finance Manager Kathryn and Event Director Dave’s wife Emma, were both diagnosed with breast cancer. Team FMI took part in Big Fun Run to raise funds to continually invest in curing cancer and support their fellow colleague and friend during this difficult time.

Operations Director Clare explained: “Kathryn has shown tremendous strength and courage following numerous surgeries – she is currently undergoing chemotherapy so sadly couldn’t be here with us today, but she was in our thoughts, alongside Emma, as we sweated it out to cross the finish line!”

Leading up to the event, Team FMI have been busy keeping active in preparation for their fun 5K including spinning classes and swimming, to long walks with their dogs over fields and the the odd jog about town.

“As a team, we’re a fantastic mix from an individual who have completed half marathons, to someone who swears she can’t breathe when she runs – we are definitely a group of mixed abilities fitness wise but were all determined and committed to crossing the finish line together” said Clare.

Join us in wishing Team FMI a big well done! To support Team FMI’s fundraising efforts for CRUK visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/fmilimited

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Chloe’s Journey

Chloe’s Journey

Kimberley and Chloe Naylor took part in Big Fun Run Milton Keynes at the weekend to raise money for OASIS Autism.

Chloe is five and a half years old and her life so far has been somewhat challenging, with difficulties that she has not been able to recognise or manage. Chloe was very lucky she had an amazing teacher in reception at school who picked up on her difficulties and explored them with the school who supported her to the best of their ability. Finally it came to light that Chloe has high functional autism with hyper mobility and ADHD. Chloe doesn’t understand the meaning of this, but is aware that sometimes she is different.

Chloe’s concentration is a real struggle for her, even with things she enjoys and lately she has had a lot of anger and frustration in her, so Kimberley suggested they start running together. Chloe is very keen to practise running and by doing this Kimberley feel it helps her release her anger and frustration. Chloe she says she ’feels happier’ after running and all her mum wants is for her to be is happy.

When Kimberley suggested that they take part in Big Fun Run Milton Keynes run together to help support other children and families like theirs,  her reply was “yes mummy that would be a good idea and do I get a medal at the end.” 

This run has given Chloe something to work towards and focus all her energy on, whilst boosting her confidence at the same time. 

Kimberley and Chloe would appreciate everyones support and are grateful for any sponsors. If you’d like to donate to their cause you can do so at http://www.justgiving.com/K imberleyandChloe?utm_id=26

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Lottie Bamford & Daisy BFR Ipswich
Lottie’s Birthday Big Fun Run for #TeamKidney

Lottie’s Birthday Big Fun Run for #TeamKidney

5 year old Lottie Bamford is taking part in Big Fun Run Ipswich on 14th October with her mum Vicky and brother Harry and is fundraising for Kidney Research UK to raise money for the charity that helps research “how to make kidney’s better”.

Lottie’s kidney condition was diagnosed following an antenatal appointment and from birth she required daily antibiotics to prevent urinary infections. At 6 months, after suffering from infection after infection, she had an operation to try and address these problems which was unsuccessful and this sadly became a way of life for Lottie until she was nearly 2. After this point, left in a very vulnerable position, Lottie had her kidney removed and almost instantly was a different girl.

Today, Lottie is 5 years old and recent tests have shown that her remaining kidney is functioning at 60% with further investigations ongoing to help try and maintain this. The day of Lottie’s Big Fun Run at Christchurch Park will also be her 6th Birthday!

Lottie is very determined about her future and wants to be a “doctor that looks after babies!”.

Pictured here with Upsy Daisy, who has always been by Lottie’s side during stays at hospital, during treatments and through operations, is a big part of Lottie’s life and is never too far away from mischief of her own!

As such, Lottie also named her remaining kidney ‘Special Daisy” and her family refer to looking after “Special Daisy” when they encourage Lottie to help look after her remaining kidney during her daily routine. It is because of the special relationship they have, that they will all be completing Big Fun Run together!

To help support Lottie’s fundraising for Kidney Research UK visit her fundraising page: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/lottiesrunforkidneys

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Miles for Wishes - Guys Stapleford Big Fun Run Milton Keynes
Dad and daughters to run miles for wishes

Dad and Daughters to run miles for wishes

Guy Stapleford is taking part in Big Fun Run Milton Keynes on Sunday 15th October alongside his two daughters Lily, aged 6 and Maisy aged 5 in aid of Make-A-Wish UK.

Aiming to raise a minimum of £5,000, Guy has big plans on how to achieve this goal. Throughout 2017, he is taking on 12 challenges including a gruelling 120km walk from London to Henley, numerous full and half marathons, cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats later in the year and Big Fun Run. This series of challenges will see Guy walk, swim, run and cycle approximately 2,000 miles by the end of the year in aid of Make-A-Wish and he hopes to raise just under £5 for every challenge mile completed.

Just 12 months ago, after a brief stay in hospital which stemmed from an inactive lifestyle and poor diet choices, Guy reflected on what he really wanted from life and established what he considered himself, the essentials. There were to be happy and healthy, to improve the relationship he has with his girls and to achieve some of the things he’s always wanted to do.

Trying a range of new activities as a beginner and all at once has made training a challenge but Guy is determined to achieve the goals he has set himself. He explained: “It’s all about making small changes to the way you live – try to prepare for the week ahead on a Sunday. If it’s a weekend with my girls then we tend to make meals together, such as overnight oats portioning up snacks and fruit. They seem to enjoy it and find it hilarious that I eat so much! He added: “Hopefully this installs some good habits in them as well for the future”. Combining his new active lifestyle and healthier diet, Guy is now living life to the fullest.

Guy admits this lifestyle change was about finding something to be passionate about and to lead a life that focused on experiences. He now wants to share the joy he gets from running with his girls and this is why they are taking part in Big Fun Run together at Willen Lake. Each of them want to support Make-A-Wish UK and help grant magical wishes to children and young people with life threatening conditions as they believe no child should live without hope or joy.

To find out more about Guy’s Miles for Wishes challenge in aid of Make-A-Wish UK and support his fundraising visit http://www.justgiving.com/milesforwishes.

Big Fun Run Milton Keynes takes place on Sunday 15th October at 11am, and promises a fun, relaxed atmosphere which is the perfect challenge to set yourself in 2017. To find out more, visit www.bigfunrun.com.

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Sophie Anderson
Anderson’s Army

Anderson’s Army take on Big Fun Run Manchester in memory of brave Sophie

MIKE WOMACK, 38, from Lymm is taking part in Manchester’s Big Fun Run at Heaton Park this Sunday, alongside approximately 100 friends & family in memory of his wife, Sophie, who sadly passed away after a brave battle with cancer.

Sophie was just 33 when she passed away after fighting cancer for almost two years. Sophie and Mike had been together for about 10 years and got married in July last year in the Lake District on the edge of Ullswater. Although they both knew the probable long term outcome, they were both determined to make it the best day ever.

Sophie ran a 5k race for life event in spring last year (Sophie’s maiden name was Anderson) with many of the Lymm runners and “Anderson’s Army” was born.

After Sophie’s passing, the team of Anderson’s Army decided to do something positive to remember her and raise some money for charity at the same time. Sophie was a great runner and member of her local running club where she lived in Lymm.

When asked what appealed to them about the Big Fun Run, Mike replied; “I liked sound of the easy going nature of the event. I think the Big Fun Run’s main motto is you can run, jog or walk which sounded perfect for us. I also did a Big Fun Run many years ago so I remember the easy going atmosphere and thought it would be a good fit for us.”

“There will be a complete mixture of running abilities on the day, from friends who have run ultra marathons to Sophie’s dad, Keith, who has taken up running at 69 specifically for this event and has done amazingly well during his training. There will also be a good number of people walking with children and probably every ability in between all of these. A 5k is a great distance which everyone can get involved with.”

There will also be friends & family participating from afar, who can’t make it along to the Big Fun Run itself.

“There will be friends and family who can’t join us on the day but have set themselves the challenge of running / walking a 5k wherever they are. From Sophie’s sister, Vicky, running 5k in Hong Kong, to Sophie’s Aunt and uncle walking 5k in Skipness in Western Scotland to family friends walking the 5k in Australia.” Mike said.

Sophie previously raised money for both Beating Bowel Cancer and The Christie. Anderson’s Army are well underway for raising money for both charities at the event.

To support Anderson’s Army and this very worthy cause visit https://www.justgiving.com/teams/SophiesArmy 

Big Fun Run Manchester takes place on Sunday 20th August at 11am, and promises a fun, relaxed atmosphere which is the perfect challenge to set yourself in 2017. To find out more, visit www.bigfunrun.com.

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Hannah Nugent
Running in the family

Running in the family

CHARITY RUNNER Hannah Nugent is gearing up to take part in Big Fun Run Manchester to raise funds for Kidney Care UK on behalf of her father and brother, who have both been diagnosed with kidney disease in recent years. Hannah decided to run the 5k to raise awareness of the disease and to raise funds to help aid future research.

“There will be 3 of us running – myself, my mum and my friend Kim.” said Hannah.

“I heard about Kidney Care UK from a colleague at work who does a few of the Big Fun Runs. I have been going on regular runs mostly every night after work.”

Hannah’s dad was diagnosed with the disease when he was 24 and her brother was only diagnosed at the beginning of this year. Hannah said that the disease impacts on both of their lives in different ways.

“This disease affects my dad’s working life as he had to retire from work at 40. He is always tired and most of the time in pain. As for my brother, it has prevented him from doing his dream job in the RAF. He is currently waiting to go on dialysis and has been put on the kidney transplant list. We are hoping and praying that he gets a kidney as soon as possible.”

“It hurts so much to see my dad always in pain and down about what he has. This affects him in every part of his life and is so sad, I wish I could take this away from him.” said Hannah.

Hannah said they are all looking forward to the event on Sunday 20th August. They are hoping to raise £200 for Kidney Care UK.

“We are looking forward to this event as this is for a special cause. Yes it’s going to be a little emotional, but we are doing this for a very good cause and we are very excited!”

Big Fun Run Manchester takes place on Saturday 20th August and is suitable for all ages and abilities. If you’d like to donate to Hannah and her team, you can do so here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hannah-nugent4.

If you are inspired to run for charity or a cause close to you heart you can sign up online at www.bigfunrun.com.

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