Virtual Running Benefits

Virtual Running Benefits

The period of lockdown resulting from the pandemic has changed the look and feel of many parts of our day to day life, including hobbies, activities and so much more.

This is also true for running, where many large events have opted to go virtual instead of being delivered in person.

But running virtually can be a great thing, allowing runners a tangible goal during an uncertain time – as well as grabbing some goodies along the way!

We’ve put together our list of the top 4 benefits of running virtually.

1. New Motivation

Let’s face it; motivation during the past 12 months has been harder to come by than usual. Not knowing what the future holds has had a real impact on our way of living, socialising, exercising – everything.

So having a virtual event to look forward to can be hugely important to your motivation levels. Being able to set a goal and follow a training schedule gives you something to aim for and can help create good habits, even after the event is over. Virtual running actually produces two really important aspects for effective behavioural change – accountability and incentive.

2. You’re in Charge

One of the best things about a virtual event – you’re in charge! You get to decide what your event day run looks and feels like. Do you want to breathe in nature? Go for it. Want to jog around your local park 10 times? Why not. Want to run laps around your garden? Be our guest. The only thing you need to worry about is completing the distance of your chosen event, the rest is up to you.

3. Community Feeling

Even though we won’t be together in person, that doesn’t we won’t be together in spirit! Unfortunately, guidelines have dictated over the last 12 years that crowds should be avoided. So when else will you be able to join other like-minded runners, all trying to achieve a similar goal?! As soon as you put your race number on and head out the front door on your event day, you join the #bigfunrun family and become part of something much bigger.

4. Swag

If we’re being honest with ourselves, one of the best things about running an event is the kit you receive afterwards. If you don’t Instagram the medal once you’re finished, did you even run the race?!

But completing a virtual run is a huge accomplishment in itself, and you deserve to have that achievement commemorated with some great goodies.

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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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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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Sally Williamson
Getting Fit for 50

Getting fit for 50

Sally Williamson, 48 from Sheffield is taking part in the city’s Big Fun Run at Rother Valley Country Park this Sunday, with the aim to raise £500 for Myeloma UK, a charity very close to her heart.

Six years ago, Sally’s father was diagnosed with myeloma, a cancer which she says the general public know very little about.

Sally tasked herself with getting ‘Fit for 50’. As someone who considers herself as never being physically fit, she decided to follow the Couch to 5K programme as an incentive to get her through the winter months. It was then she decided Big Fun Run Sheffield was a great way to kill two birds with one stone.

Sally explains: “I started the Couch to 5k programme on the 1st January this year, I graduated in March, and have been running a couple of times a week since.”

Myself and my son are running in Big Fun Run Sheffield (he’s coming along for moral support!) with the aim to raise £500 for Myeloma UK, a charity very close to our hearts.”

Reflecting on her achievements so far, Sally explains: “Born with mobility issues myself and never being confident at any physical activity at 48 years old, I decided it was time to give it a go and get Fit by 50. The Big Fun Run is a great opportunity to challenge myself without time pressures and a great way to raise funds for Myeloma UK!

To support Sally and this very worthy cause visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Sally-Williamson4

Big Fun Run Sheffield takes place on Sunday 13th 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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Vicky's 100km for MDNA Challenge
No Finish Line Until There is a Cure

No Finish Line Until There is a Cure

Vicky Paeschel, 27 from Sheffield is taking part in the city’s Big Fun Run at Rother Valley Country Park this August, as part of the ambitious challenge she has set herself to raise an incredible £10,000 for the MND Association in memory of her beloved mum.

Vicky admits she has never considered herself a runner but will be running for those who can’t, competing in a series of runs and walks across the UK covering a total distance of at least 100km, to help people affected by Motor Neurone Disease (MND), their families and carers.

Vicky’s personal experiences with MND have inspired her to become a dedicated fundraiser and volunteer for MNDA, a charity dedicated to improving care and support for people affected by MND, a fatal, rapidly progressive disease that affects the brain and spinal cords, attacking the nerves that control movement so muscles no longer work.

After bravely battling her illness with incredible strength, Vicky’s mum sadly passed away in November 2008, at the age of 39, after a 9 month battle with Motor Neurone Disease.

Vicky explains: “My mum was the most generous, kind, compassionate and loving person. She was incredibly creative, loved to laugh and taught me that the happiest individuals in the world are those who put other people first, which is exactly what she did as a mother – always putting her 6 children first. Losing my mum has been devastating but I have since lived my life to make her proud and help others affected by this cruel disease”.

Having spent the last year getting physically fit, Vicky joined the gym and began exercising 4 times a week and lost 40lbs in the process. She completed her first ever race last June and Big Fun Run will be a very special event for her as she will be completing her “100km for MDNA” challenge she has set herself when she crosses the Big Fun Run finish line.

Reflecting on her amazing achievements, Vicky explains: “I have so far raised over £3,000. I will continue running to raise much-needed funds for the MND Association and awareness of MND as there is ‘No Finish Line Until There is a Cure!’ so that one day many families will not have to go through what we had to experience.

To support Vicky and this very worthy cause visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/100k-for-MNDA or text TYVM89 £5 to 70070.

To find out more about the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association click here.

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Big Fun Run Checklist

Big Fun Run Checklist

With less than a month to go until the first Big Fun Run 5km, the team at Run4It want to help you improve your run on the day! To do so, we have put together a checklist, compiled of items which we believe are absolutely essential for you to enjoy your run:

1. Correctly fitted shoes
2. Running socks
3. Sports bra for ladies
4. Comfortable clothing


It is easy to purchase a pair of ‘sports shoes’, they look smart and are available in your size – done! Or you just need to dig around to the bottom of your wardrobe until you find those trainers from years ago. However, we recommend that you think differently about your footwear for the Big Fun Run. For it to be ‘fun’ you need to avoid injury, blisters or muscle aching, therefore it could be time for new shoes! At Run4It we recommend that you have your feet analysed by one of our team through our free runlab shoe fitting process. A simple 15 second jog in bare feet can tell us whether your feet need a stability shoe with extra guidance and support, or a structured neutral shoe with lots of cushioning. It is amazing how much of a difference correctly fitted shoes can make! If you are new to running, this is the one thing to get right.


If you have looked after your feet by getting the right shoe, then it is the perfect opportunity to accompany this with the right sock. The rule is simple: no cotton! Cotton retains moisture/sweat which can cause bacteria to build up and the foot to become irritated by the damp sock – most commonly resulting in blisters. To avoid this, look to running socks which contain synthetic fibres (such as nylon) to wick away moisture and allow the foot to breathe. Running socks can vary in comfort, based on the padding they have in them, as well as sock height and colour, so there are plenty to choose from!

Sports Bra

80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra. 75% do not wear a technical sports bra when running. Sound familiar? It is said that no sports bra should ever reach a birthday, so for most women it is probably time for a sport bra fit! Not wearing the correct sports bra can affect your running gait and posture, it can cause up to 4cm of movement in the breast tissue and irreversible damage, and it can be really uncomfortable when you are trying to enjoy your run! This is why we place sports bras as an essential piece of kit. No matter you cup size, band size, or preference on bra style, you should always be able to find the perfect sports bra for you!


If the feet are comfortable, you need the kit to match. With running tops it is the same as with socks, avoid cotton! A cotton top not only shows sweat and begins to smell much quicker, but it can also cause irritation and rubbing under the arms or on the chest. A technical t-shirt is much lighter and less restrictive around the arms – and it’s not an expensive piece of kit. As most of the Big Fun Runs take place during summer it could be warm, so consider a vest or t-shirt and if you are worried about being cold on the start line make sure you have a layer on top that you can quickly pull off and put to the side, or pass to a friend, before you start running.

Accompany your top with a good pair of technical tights or shorts to be fully comfortable. Within shorts every runners’ need should be covered: you can get shorts with longer lycra liners to prevent chafing; shorts with a split leg so that you are completely unrestricted; or simple lycra shorts that sit close and don’t move up the leg.

If you can check off every item of our checklist then you are good to go! If this is your first run, enjoy the experience and if you have done events before then welcome back! ☺

Our retail partner Run4It have lots of shops throughout Scotland, find out more and buy online at www.run4it.com

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