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World's First Running Mayors Announced!

Updated: Mar 25, 2021

'World’s first Running Mayors revealed including Jules, owner of runningRewire and now the Running Mayor of CLAPHAM!'

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A new network of Running Mayors from all across the UK -- and beyond -- were announced today (19th March 2021) having been appointed by Runner’s World and the RunSome campaign and I’m honoured and delighted to say that I’m one of them!!

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The Running Mayors Network is an initiative of the RunSome campaign. Led by Runners World, Active Things and a coalition of leading running brands and organisations, RunSome is urging government to include running in its £2bn active travel funding alongside walking and cycling. With a quarter of a million people in the UK already running everyday journeys, RunSome wants to double that number within the next 12 months, whilst delivering a timely boost to mental and physical health.

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Tasked with advocating for running as an antidote to some of 2021’s toughest challenges the new Running Mayors provide a face and a voice to champion running in the place they know and care about, the city or town where they live.

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In response to my appointment I said, “It’s a real honour to be chosen as one of the Running Mayors. Running has already seen a surge in popularity during the Coronavirus pandemic so let’s encourage people to continue being as active as they can, whenever they can.


Running doesn’t have to be about long weekend runs, or training for an event.. we all lead busy lives so combining running with everyday errands is a win win for most people! Not only will this campaign have a positive impact on the environment and population’s physical health but it comes at a time when people will really benefit from the improvement in mental wellbeing that running provides.”


I also went on to say, “I coach mostly female runners and I’m fully aware that many of them don’t feel safe running alone, I myself have been on the receiving end of a physical attack whilst out running. This needs to change, women need to feel safe on the streets, especially in light of the recent tragic murder of Sarah Everard in this area. I have several ideas including setting up a local network of like-minded runners so that you can see who is available to join you for a run if you don’t want to go alone. I am so excited to share my passion for running, encourage and help those who may not currently run and at the same time make some changes for the better for the runners of Clapham!”

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As one of the world’s first Running Mayors I will promote running as a form of active travel, positioning it as a viable alternative to jumping in the car for short errands and local trips (in doing so reducing air pollution), as well as running for leisure and sport.

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The first ever cohort of the Running Mayors Network also includes the actual mayor of St Neot’s, Cambridgeshire, Stephen Ferguson, who is 20 stone and 6ft2, who is motivated to show that size is no barrier to running; Tasha Thompson, founder of Black Girls Do Run, who is the Running Mayor of Brent; and Sikh long-distance runner, Usingh Bolt, the Running Mayor of Walsall. The Running Mayor of High Wycombe, Tasneem Anwar is inspired to engage everyone in her local community, not least under-represented groups like Muslim women and BAME children, having only started running herself in 2020.

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Whilst only calling for applicants for places in the UK, two international candidates were so strong the judges decided to appoint them too. That’s Ekaterina Preobrazhenskaya, who splits her time between Moscow and London, as the Running Mayor of Moscow and Frankie Ruiz, who becomes the Running Mayor of Miami. Frankie previously set up the Miami marathon and is leading -- with city officials -- the creation of a 6km linear park, adding ideal infrastructure for runners with tree covering and shade to protect runners and walkers from the sun.

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Running is an efficient mode of urban transport - it’s cheap, it’s typically twice as fast as walking, often faster than driving in congested cities, has a low carbon footprint and aids our mental and physical health. With a quarter of UK journeys a mile or less (Sustrans) and over two thirds of car trips in UK cities under 3 miles (INRIX) there is much potential. Cities worldwide are adapting streets for people to enable more journeys on foot and bikes. If the UK’s 11 million runners ran just one or two everyday journeys a week rather than drive, it would be significant, enabling us to navigate our cities more healthily and sustainably.

As individuals and as a network the Running Mayors will make the case to city leaders and mayors for why runners -- too often invisible in discussions about how we live and move -- need to feature in their planning and design of places and services, not least in terms of active travel.

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The Running Mayors will also work with other local stakeholders to champion a range of topics that they care deeply about - for many that also includes improving safety and security for women when running, walking and cycling -- be that through better lighting, upgrading routes and pavements or buddying up scheme.

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High profile campaign supporters include five-time Olympian Jo Pavey and Scotland’s Cycling and Walking Commissioner Lee Craigie.


Five time Olympian Jo Pavey: “I’m thrilled to be involved in the RunSome campaign and to support Running Mayors. Encouraging people to make some everyday trips in an active way is great for both health and wellbeing and the environment. During these difficult times for everyone, it is also even more important to promote the massive benefit that running can have on our mental health.”


Scotland’s Active Nation Commissioner Lee Craigie, who was one of the judges: “The more I see of the Running Mayors Network the more excited I get. As a campaign, RunSome reminds us that by adopting the daily pleasure of running (even a wee bit!) into the ways we choose to get about (even sometimes) we'll discover untold benefits to our mental and physical health, our environment, our pocket and to the living conditions of other people who share our community. It's a win-win-win-win."


Runner’s World UK, Editor-in-Chief, Andy Dixon and one of the judges: “Runner’s World is proud to be part of the RunSome campaign and to get behind the world’s first Running Mayors. We’re passionate believers in the power of running to transform lives and by the seemingly simple act of running some short everyday trips more, we can make ourselves happier and healthier, benefit our towns and cities by reducing car use, and help the environment – everybody wins.”


Scott Cain, CEO of Active Things and co-founder of the RunSome campaign, comments, "To run is part of who we are. We just designed it out of our daily lives, and now – with COVID-19 and all the changes in how we live and move – it’s time to design.

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Running Mayors not only love running but they love to inspire others to do so too!

I have therefore set up a new Facebook group for those in Clapham and the surrounding areas. Please click here to join!

The group will act as a network for local runners, a place to arrange meet ups or to find a buddy for a run. It will also be a place where we can share our stories and experiences so that I can hopefully get our voices heard and make Clapham even better for running.

You don’t have to run far, you don’t have to run fast, you don’t have to run every day.. just #runsome

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Check out the RunSome website for further information on the Running Mayors and their objectives.


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