WR Reader Awards 2018 | Women's Running

WR Reader Awards 2018

Read Time:   |  December 13, 2018

Back in February 2018, we created a longlist of all the key running categories, including races, shoe brands, apparel, influencers, accessories and retailers. From that longlist, you, our readers, voted for your favourites, which helped create a shortlist of just 10 brands per category. Thousands of you then voted again for your top choices adhere we have the results: the best-loved brands in running as voted by you. So what is your favourite running shoe brand and 10k race? Find out the most popular running brands of 2018!

Best 5k

Winner: MK Rocket





Shoot for the stars on this rapid Rocket run. May 2019 brings the next rocket-fuelled 5k to Stadium MK. The super-speedy, mostly downhill route has great PB potential and it’s an opportunity to experience the buzz of MK Marathon weekend without the extra mileage. The 5k takes place the day before the MK Marathon and is suitable for runners aged 13 and up. Run the Rocket 5k and a main event the next day to gain the awesome MK Challenge Medal.

The organisers say: 

‘This is the third year for the MK Rocket 5k and we have worked really hard to improve the runner experience and make this a fun and fast addition to the MK Marathon weekend. Thank you to everyone who voted for us. We are delighted to be the best 5k in 2018!’ – Andy Hully, Race Director, MK Marathon Weekend

WR readers who voted say:

“I absolutely love this 5k as it has such a great atmosphere and is really well organised and suitable for all abilities. The course is really fast with PB potential and there is a real buzz at the finish. Love it!” – Portia Simond

“Very well organised, friendly supportive marshals/volunteers and amazing, buzzing atmosphere all the way! Well done MK Marathon team, you are all AMAZING!” – Niam Hani

“Great 5k, especially if you wanna get a PB. Perfect warm-up run in preparation for the marathon the next day! – Carly Letch


Highly Commended: CRUK Race For Life


Commended: Colour Run

Colour Run  

Best 10k

Winner: Vitality London 10,000

Vitality 10k

The Vitality London 10,000 has established itself as one of the UK’s most iconic 10k races. A fast and flat course, 2018 saw a record-breaking 14,000+ runners cross the finish line and Sir Mo Farah lead the elite field line-up. The course passes some of London’s most famous buildings, including: Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Old Bailey, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. In Green Park the Vitality Wellness Festival hosts free events and family-friendly activities including coaching sessions in a range of sports and taster classes. Entry is now open for the 2019 Vitality London 10k, on Monday 27th May.

The organisers say: 

“We are delighted the Vitality London 10,000 has won this award. We want to make the Vitality London 10,000 the most inspirational 10k in the country and I think this year’s event showed how we are progressing in that goal. We saw a record-breaking 14,445 runners cross the iconic finish line next to Buckingham Palace with Sir Mo Farah leading the way. Behind Sir Mo we saw thousands of participants of all ages, abilities and backgrounds – many of whom were running a 10k for the first time and many more running for charity. It really is an event for everyone and we expect it to get bigger and better in 2019. Entry is now open for the 2019 Vitality London 10,000, which will take place on the Bank Holiday Monday 27th May” – Hugh Brasher, Event Director of the Vitality London 10,000

WR readers who voted say: 

“Such an iconic race for everyone to enjoy. The support was incredible all round, it was fast and fun!” – Gem Woodleigh

“I loved this race! There are many sights to see, support was fantastic. Brilliant goodie bag and atmosphere at the finish.” – Sarah Tungstall

“This was my first ever 10k, I loved it. There were lots of supportive runners around me. It’s an awesome race.” – Jade Connor


Highly Commended: Women’s Running Race Series

WR Race Series 

Commended: CRUK Winter Run

CRUK Winter Run 

Best Half Marathon

Winner: Milton Keynes


The MK Half Marathon traverses tree-lined city boulevards before running through the lush Ouzel Valley following the beautiful, meandering River Ouzel onto Walton Lake, one of the richest spots in Milton Keynes to enjoy wildlife, and then on to the very picturesque Caldecotte Lake, before a superb stadium finish.

The organisers say: 

“The MK Half Marathon has been running for five years and has become the flagship running event in the area, showcasing the surprisingly stunning natural beauty in Milton Keynes. To win ‘Best Half Marathon in the UK’ is a testament to the runners’ enjoyment of the course, the support and the amazing stadium finish. Thanks to everyone who voted for us.” – Andy Hully, Race Director, MK Marathon Weekend

WR readers who voted say:

“I loved this marathon. It was well organised, well marshalled and even with the extreme heat I felt like the public, the organisers, other runners and marshals were all looking out for us. Baggage was easy, loos were easy and there’s plenty for the family to do. It’s a big thumbs up from me.” – Laura Webb

“It was the hottest day of the year, so I allowed myself a slower pace as I relaxed and took in the wonderful atmosphere. The support from the local community on the course was fantastic. Residents came out with hosepipes, water guns and spray bottles to cool the runners down. There was so much support!” – Alice Winterburn

“The route was lovely, taking us through estates where the biggest support was and through a gorgeous big park. The best feeling was reaching the end and running inside the stadium. The cheers echoed loudly and left me feeling like a hero for the day! I’m definitely coming back next year.” – Jemma Redhead


Highly Commended: Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon, Liverpool


Commended: London Landmarks

London Landmarks Half 

Best Marathon

Winner: Virgin Money London Marathon

London Marathon

Founded in 1981, the London Marathon course starts in beautiful Greenwich Park and takes runners past the city’s famous sights, including Cutty Sark, Canary Wharf, Tower of London, Nelson’s Column and the Millennium Wheel, before finishing in front of Buckingham Palace. In 2018 the Virgin Money London Marathon raised a record-breaking £63.7 million for charity, setting a world record for an annual single-day charity fundraising event for a 12th successive year. On Sunday 29th April 2019, around 75 percent of the 40,000+ runners will be raising money for charity, adding the the incredible total of £955+ million raised so far by the event.

The organisers say: 

“It’s a real pleasure to have been voted Marathon of the Year 2018. One of our main aims is to make the Virgin Money London Marathon more accessible to everyone. At the first London Marathon back in 1981, fewer than 300 of the 6,300 finishers were women. Since then the number has grown every year. We are very proud that 44 percent of 2019 applicants were women. We are determined to continue this commitment to getting more women running the London Marathon.” – Hugh Brasher, Event Director, Virgin Money London Marathon

WR readers who voted say: 

“There isn’t another marathon like London. It’s my main race each year, and I’ll never get bored of doing it!” – Karen Massingham

“The wall of sound, from start to finish, makes you realise how friendly Londoners are. I always love the last two miles.” – Rachael MacIntyre

“I always feel so proud when that London Marathon medal is hung around my neck. It’s such an achievement.” – Christy Robbins


Highly Commended: Milton Keynes

MK marathon 

Commended: Manchester

Manchester Marathon  

Best Ultra

Winner: Race to the Stones

Race to the Stones 

The flagship event in the Threshold Trail Series, Dixons Carphone Race to the Stones is a 100k ultramarathon along the Ridgeway, from Lewknor in Oxfordshire to the Avebury Stone Circle in Wiltshire. More than 2,500 people of all ages and abilities walk, jog or run the route, either non-stop or over two days, camping overnight. It is fully supported with a signposted route, regular pit stops, medical support, delicious hot food, showers, plus entertainment and massages at basecamp.

The organisers say: 

“We are thrilled to have been voted Women’s Running Reader Award for Best Ultra of the Year and we hope to share our success with men more participants in 2019. As the biggest and highest female represented ultra in the UK, this is an award that means a lot to us. We are constantly striving for a 50/50 male to female representation on our ultras and we often achieve it. A huge thank you to our community of participants who continue to inspire us and make this event what it is.” – Cara Da Silva, Marketing Director, Threshold Sports

WR readers who voted say:

“The organisation, support from volunteers en route, the medical professionals and the entire race team was outstanding. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect ultra marathon as my first. I’ve recommended this race over and over again. It changed my life.” – Dana Shockman

“I chose Race to the Stones because I wanted a challenge. I did the first half in 2016 and the second half in 2017. Not the conventional way, but my way! It’s a fantastic race, which is so well organised, with all the well-stocked pit stops and medics and all-round support during the event. And of course, the lovely medal and the well-earned meal and drink at the finish line. I would recommend this race to friends and family and I’m looking to doing Race to the King next year!” – Heather Wheeler


Highly Commended: Jurassic Coast 3-Day Challenge

Jurassic Coast  

Commended: 10 Peaks Lakes Long

10 Peaks 

Best Obstacle Race

Winner: Tough Mudder UK

Tough Mudder

Tough Mudder launched their obstacle-course event series in 2010. Since then, it has grown into a leading global sports, active lifestyle and media brand. With more than three million participants and more than 130 events worldwide, including Mini Mudder, Tough Mudder 5k and Tough Mudder Classic.

The organisers say:

“Tough Mudder is a team event that has no winners or losers. Everyone is there to help you complete the course that boasts the best obstacles in the world. They are designed to test you, your teamwork and help you step outside your comfort zone. Anyone from beginners to elite athletes can take part. From 5k to 24-hours, there’s a Tough Mudder event for everyone.” – Nikki Emmans, Vice President of Marketing


Highly Commended: Pretty Muddy


Commended: Wolf Run

Wolf Run 

Best International Race

Winner: TCS New York City Marathon

NY Marathon

First run in 1970, the New York City Marathon is one of the six World Majors, but it’s also officially the world’s biggest marathon, with more than 50,000 runners and sometimes double that in applications. The course takes runners through the city’s five boroughs.

The organisers say: 

“This year’s TCS New York City Marathon was an epic event as the race surpassed 52,000 finishers, breaking the record for the largest marathon ever run in the world. Marathon day is always one of the best days of the year in New York City, as our great city comes alive with people from all around the world running the dream race.” – Michael Capiraso, NYRR President and CEO


Highly Commended: Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon


Commended: Paris Marathon

Paris marathon 

Best Running Club

Winner: Notts Women Runners

Now in its fourth year of affiliation, Notts Women Runners (NWR) and the dedicated ladies of the committee who give up their time to run the club have gone from strength to strength. They have over 470 runners, from enthusiastic beginners to ultrarunners, and a Facebook community of over 5,000. They have worked tirelessly with the This Girl Can campaign and the Notts City Council’s Get Out, Get Active programme, to deliver countless beginner runners courses across the county. All are delivered free, by their growing band of 41 qualified Run Leaders. The supportive ethos of the club is what makes it special and so many of their runners never thought they’d ever run a 5k, let alone the half marathons (and beyond) so many go on to do. NWR are proof you’re not too old, too large, too shy or too anything to run. They look out for one another and never leave a woman behind. The Purple Army, their supporters, never let them down at events big and small and the beginners who graduate at a parkrun get support worthy of Olympians.

The organisers say: 

“We are thrilled to win this award again and we can’t thank our members enough for voting. That’s the power of purple.” – Sion Bostock, Club Chair

WR readers who voted say: 

“I voted for NWR because I feel that the ladies of this group have the potential to change lives. Running with NWR has provided a strong motivation to start running, keep going, to run regularly and to be inspired by other members, who are truly awesome. It’s great to always have someone to run with, laugh with, chat to and try new routes, times, distances and paces with. I’ve made many good friends through NWR, who have been there for both running and for personal support when I’ve needed it. I am enjoying the running journey and these ladies are the main reason why.” – Lesley Brewer

“When I first started as a beginner with Notts Women Runners on a cold Tuesday evening, little did I know how much it would change my life. The groups are fantastic, the run leaders are inspirational, motivating and so friendly. Now after 18 months, I have run three half marathons, trained as a Run Leader, and am now a qualified fitness instructor and personal trainer and run my own fitness business. Never say you can’t do it, because with this group, the leaders and the friends you meet along the way, anything is possible. Get out there, run and have fun!” – Debbie Reynolds

Notts Women Runners 

Highly Commended: Redway Runners

Redway Runners 

Commended: Vegan Runners

Vegan Runners 

Best Influencer

Winner: Run Mummy Run

Run Mummy Run 

Run Mummy Run is an online running community for women. Their aim is to support, encourage and motivate women to lead happier and healthier lives through running. The community was founded by Leanne Davies in 2012, who, after having her second child, found it increasingly hard to get out and mix with like-minded runners. She set up a Facebook group for herself and two friends to motivate themselves with their running, and six years on it has reached 60,000 members.

The organisers say: 

“We are so proud to have won this award, especially as it’s nominated and voted for by women runners. It’s also great recognition for our community team, which works so hard behind the scenes. Our aim with Run Mummy Run has always been to inspire all kinds of women to get out and run and bring these women together to support each other in their running journeys. It’s amazing that Run Mummy Run is being recognised for helping women to make positive changes in their lives.” – Leanne Davies

WR readers who voted say:

“Run Mummy Run brings so many women together, no matter where they are in their running journey. I am so proud to be part of such an inclusive and supportive community, which inspires women to achieve more than they ever thought possible.” – Sarah Barnett

“It doesn’t matter if you are super speedy or just a plodder, everyone supports each other. You’re never laughed at; just encouraged to be your best. All the support keeps me going on my journey to keep fit, lose weight and to complete VLM 2019.” – Emma Preston


Highly Commended: Clean Coach Katie

Clean Coach Katie 

Commended: Dr Juliet McGrattan

Dr Juliet McGrattan 

Best Shoe Brand

Winner: Brooks


Brooks sells its performance footwear, apparel, sports bras and accessories in more than 50 countries worldwide. They say their purpose is to inspire everyone to run and be active by creating innovative gear designed to keep runners running longer, farther and faster. This idea is supported by Brooks’ ‘run happy’ philosophy, a quest to celebrate and champion the sport of running and all runners everywhere.

The organisers say:

“Winning this award is a real honour and the fact it was voted for by runners makes it extra special. Everything we do is designed for runners, to make the run the best experience it can be. Our aim is to encourage everyone to run and be active. So we work closely with the running community, listen to your feedback and focus on learning and applying those learnings to how we design our shoes. A big thank you to Women’s Running readers. It means a lot.” – Matt Dodge, Managing Director EMEA, Brooks Running

WR readers who voted say:

“I switched to Brooks about two months ago and have never looked back. They are bouncier and more supportive and give me a much better running style too.” – Joolz Walker

“I had Achilles tendinitis until I got some Brooks, so they are the ones for me.” – Hannah Plowman

“Brooks shoes offer great support for my plantar fasciitis-plagued feet.” – Susan Hopp


Highly Commended: ASICS


Commended: New Balance


Best Apparel

Winner: Run Mummy Run

Run Mummy Run 

The organisers say:

“We have worked hard over the last few years to establish ourselves as an apparel brand – learning lots of lessons along the way. So to receive this recognition is a dream come true for us at Run Mummy Run. It’s important that our designs are high quality, stylish and comfortable for all women runners, while being instantly recognisable as our brand. We feel it’s vital that we pick cuts, styles and patterns that allow our runners to feel confident when wearing our apparel.” – Leanne Davies

WR readers who voted say:

“Run Mummy Run kit is a guaranteed way of getting spotted and, most importantly, getting the most amazing support when you’re out running. It seems to have magical powers, too, having helped me achieve some fantastic PBs along the way!” – Marie Mason

“I absolutely love my Run Mummy Run kit, because not only do the team take into account that not everyone is the same shape or size, but we also don’t always want boring colours. Running is supposed to be fun and I like my kit to reflect that.” – Elizabeth Ayres


Highly Commended: Nike


Commended: Tikiboo


Best Tech Brand

Winner: Garmin


Garmin are the creators of wearable and GPS technology, delivering – they say – products designed to enhance, innovate and become an essential part of their customers’ lives.

The organisers say:

“We are thrilled to have been voted ‘Best Tech Brand’ by the readers of Women’s Running. It’s fantastic to see so many people using Garmin products to help achieve their fitness goals and ultimately beat yesterday.” – Kia Marshall, Brand Manager, Garmin UK


Highly Commended: Strava


Commended: Fitbit


Best Nutrition Brand

Winner: Herbalife


Herbalife Nutrition is a company that says it offers high quality, science-backed products that inspire its customers to embrace a healthier, more active lifestyle. Their products have helped millions of customers change their eating habits and achieve their goals.

The organisers say: 

“Thank you to everyone who voted for us. We are passionate about nutrition.Every day we work on creating products that provide the best nutrition possible. Our new product development is centred around innovation and science and we always look for new opportunities to bring the best nutrition to our customers. It’s this conviction in our products that gives complete confidence to more than 200 athletes and teams worldwide as they put their trust in Herbalife Nutrition to fuel their performance.” – Violetta Zlatareva, Country Director of Herbalife Nutrition, UK, Ireland & Iceland

WR readers who voted say:

“I’ve used Herbalife Nutrition products for six years. I initially used the products for weight loss but found they gave me much more energy and I started to exercise more often. I love Herbalife CR7Drive for fuelling and keeping me hydrated and it tastes great too. With Herbalife I can train harder and recover quicker.” – Vicky Kelly

“I voted for Herbalife Nutrition because I’ve used their products for about eight years now and they really help me with energy and feeling good. There’s a lot of science behind the brand and it’s got me interested in knowing more about nutrition. I’m also a big fan of the tea and I use some of the sports products for training.” – Moira Dineley


Highly Commended: SIS


Commended: HIGH5


Best Accessory Brand

Winner: Run Mummy Run

Run Mummy Run 

The organisers say:

“We are so pleased to have won the Running Accessory Brand Award as we work hard to design and source practical, stylish and fun accessories for all women runners. Run Mummy Run accessories are a great way for our community to stand our and to spot each other at races.” – Leanne Davies

WR readers who voted say:

“I voted for Run Mummy Run (RMR) as Best Accessory Brand as I’m so happy with everything I’ve purchased from them. My personal favourite must be their snugs (running headscarves). I have found all their kit to be of exceptional quality with great designs. I also love that their clothing and accessories support the work and projects they do for their running community.” – Rosie Bassett

“The snugs, socks, visors, bib clips and temporary tattoos are the best way of making sure you can be spotted by other RMR ladies at a race. My kit has always helped others spot me and for me to find my tribe! I wouldn’t be without it. It’s the best, because it means something to the people who wear it; support, friendship and always having your sole sisters with you.” – Zoey O’Prey


Highly Commended: Under Armour

Under Armour 

Commended: Buff Headwear


Best Charity

Winner: Mind


Mind say they provide, “The best stewardship experience for runners and in return our runners exceed their minimum sponsorship targets and often take part in the same and other runs over a number of years. They become part of our movement of change.” Mind’s Events Fundraising Team provide excellent ‘runner stewardship’. Fundraising Officers and Coordinators try to ensure runners have the best experience possible, receiving a welcome call and fundraising pack, and they keep in touch with runners throughout their training, race day and beyond. Mind want their runners to feel the charity is with them every step of the way, especially on race day. Greeting and cheering on Mind runners gives the charity a chance to thank and congratulate them face to face and express how important they are. Mind’s presence on race day also provides a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness of mental health and highlight the links between mental and physical health, and the benefits of exercise outdoors.

The organisers say: 

“This is fabulous recognition for Mind. What’s even better is knowing that so many people are running to raise awareness for mental health generally. This year, over 9,000 mind supporters took part in races across the UK and many are already training for 2019. Our wonderful supporters raised over £6M, which will go a long way towards providing much-needed support for the one in four of us who experience mental health problems. These guys are truly inspirational. I can’t thank them enough.” – Karen Bolton, Mind


Highly Commended: CRUK


Commended: Macmillan


Best Retailer

Winner: Run Mummy Run

Run Mummy Run 

The organisers say:

“Winning this award gives well deserved recognition to our outstanding retail team. Our start in retail was very humble, with one stock line that was picked and packed in my dining room. We have grown exponentially as a retailer and are incredibly proud of the excellent customer service our team provide. Our friendly retail staff are always willing to go the extra mile for our customers and our efficient fulfilment team strive to send out the majority of our orders so they arrive with the customer the next day.” – Leanne Davies

WR readers who voted say:

“There is always such great service from the shop. Despite the official shop hours, emails often get replied to out of hours. Deliveries are so quick and the shop team work incredibly hard to make sure we have great kit.” – Emma Holland

“The whole experience is quick and hassle free. A query about sizing was answered in a friendly and efficient way. I’m a busy, working, single mum and not tech savvy, so it makes a big difference when something like ordering online is straightforward.” – Sarah Clarke


Highly Commended: Decathlon


Commended: Wiggle


Best Parkrun

Winner: Milton Keynes

MK Park Run

Milton Keynes parkrun is often seen on lists of the most beautiful park runs, which comes as no surprise to its residents. A single lap course is designed to showcase the new town’s landscape: canals, lakes, rolling hills and the peaceful beauty of the Buddhist Peace Pagoda. It was the UK’s 24th park run, founded by Gareth Snelson in 2010 because he was lonely running by himself and wanted to create a running community. Now it averages over 500 runners a week and he will probably never be able to run alone ever again.

The organisers say: 

“I am so proud of what the volunteers and runners have created here in Milton Keynes. This award is for them. Thank you.” – Gareth Snelson

WR readers who voted say:

“I have very strong connections with Milton Keynes parkrun. I feel privileged to be a part of this amazing local event with its beautiful scenic route and lovely atmosphere! It’s definitely the place where happy memories are made and dreams come true.” – Lucy Richards

“I love the changing seasons along the canal and around the lake. It’s just a lovely location in Milton Keynes. I also love the friendships I’ve made while running parkrun each week, a community of like-minded people.” – Gillian Adamson


Highly Commended: Cannock Chase

Parkrun logo 

Commended: Lee-On-Solent

Parkrun logo 

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