They say a picture paints a 1,000 words and when I look at this photo the two that immediately come to mind are “happy & proud”. As the best blog award was announced and the big screen display changed, it was very exciting to see all the shortlisted logos and fantastic to see mine right up there. I’d like to thank all the people that voted for my blog both last year and this year. Two years blogging and twice shortlisted #amazing !!
In this post I have tagged as many people as came to mind and if they write a blog I have added a link to it via their name.
The venue for the Running Awards was once again the Indigo Rooms within the O2. I travelled up to London in the afternoon and checked into the Pilot Inn which is literally 0.6 miles away. I’d recommend the pub rooms as a stay over because I had a friendly welcome, free overnight parking, a good sleep and quite a funky room.
As I strolled towards the O2 I contemplated the evening ahead. What did I hope it would bring ? Realistically 401 marathons Ben had to be the favourite and second/third spots were up for grabs but my main goal was to meet the bloggers that I read the most and spookily enough that all happened within the first hour or so.
We’d been emailed that the Bloggers Forum would start at 8.30pm and on arrival the Indigo Rooms had the awards lit up in lights. The people from the majority of the other categories were dinning downstairs and we were in the balcony bar above. Once I’d had my official Running Awards photo taken I checked in at registration. If it’s anything like last years then you’ll get the sense of pride and achievement that I felt. Who would have thought that tapping away my thoughts at home would bring me to London !!
On arrival I was given my yellow wrist band that signified I was a blogging shortlisted candidate, this also meant I received a Bloggers goody bag. The Running Awards red kit bag in itself was quite cool and this photo shows you what was inside. The 500ml soft flask will come in very handy, all the gels and the Hi5 nutrition pack will definitely be used and I hope not to need the rock tape but it will be useful to carry as a precaution. The battery free Million mile lights were a great idea especially for those early/late trail runs where there’s no street lighting. I will definitely try the Totum Sports hydration drinks sachets after listening to Alice their rep and I’ll drink it from my Camelbak soft flask that has a clever open and shut valve, so there are no spillages. Thanks one and all for these gifts.
With the advantage of these bright red kit bags and his distinct Scottish ascent the first person I bumped into in the VIP Lounge was shortlisted Mark Gallacher. Mark has a great sense of humour and is a bundle of energy so the conversation flowed easily considering we have never met in person, only through twitter. On sitting down we were then joined by fellow blogger Paul Addicott and his wife, then not long after Liam Martin and his wife Judy. Liam’s Ginger Running man blog along with Mark’s are a couple of my favourites. Liam is fresh from his success in the recent runultra blogging awards.
We chatted about a wide range of blogging topics including Paul and Mark’s London marathons on the Sunday. As more people arrived I was pleased to see Darren (@Runnersknees) and his fellow @ukrunchat group. I borrowed this photo so that I could include Matt , Jen, Pip, Darren, Kaya, Clare & Big Carl in my blog.
Darren and I met last year when Strava took the bloggers for a run. Darren may not have been shortlisted but his RunnersKnees blog defiantly deserves it both in terms of numbers and content “next year” 🙂
By 9.45pm we made our way down to be escorted into the main arena for the awards themselves were the more corporate guests were finishing their three course meals. Sam and Rachael from the Running Awards have been emailing us in recent weeks so again it was great to meet them in person. We settled at our table, with the free drinks !! ( bottles of cold larger to follow on from my cider in the VIP bar) and Mike Bushell from the BBC set off the presenting proceedings by entering the stage on a space hopper. Guest presenters also included Susie Chan, Martin Yelling, Dame Kelly Holmes and 401 Ben.
My local Gosport running shop Absolute Running had been shortlisted but unfortunately didn’t figure in the top three of their categories. However, it’s a great achievement for a relatively small shop to have made it that far. A testament to their success is that they have recently opened at second shop in Southsea.
So, the time came for the top three bloggers to be named. Third, Gemma‘s marathongirl, second Mark Gallacher and first 401 Ben. With Mark sitting next to me it was fantastic to see the unparalleled joy in his face. I was both excited and pleased for him. Ben has had an amazing two years and deserves every award that he is nominated for and with a nice touch Gemma came over to congratulate Mark . I popped over to see if they were all posing for photos, Ben and Gemma were there, either side of the PR Breath Unity lady.
Naturally only three people can figure in the Gold, silver and bronze positions but I think I can speak for our remaining nine bloggers that we all felt privileged to have been voted into the shortlisted top twelve out of more than eighty blogs that put themselves forward. I borrowed the official photo of Mark in his moment of glory 🙂
Once the announcements had all been made I said congratulations and goodnight to Mark and then mingled for a while to see who was around now that we’d stood up from our tables. Bumping into Darren and Jen again I also got to chat with ultra man Shaun Marsden who’d also been on last years pre awards Strava run. When I chatted to him last year he’d just finished his Artic Ultra !! I briefly chatted with Ben and offered my congratulations and then had a quick chat with Big Carl who is an interesting character and I take my hat off to him as his “Big Carl” relates to him once being 30 stone.
So in summary a great evening catching up with old friends and making new ones. Could the Bloggers Forum have been more constructive, probably yes, but then again the informal chatting did work. Could I have taken more photos, definitely, but sometimes it’s good to take in what’s going on rather than keep snapping away 🙂
As I strolled back towards the pub and my accommodation I bumped into Liam and Judy who I’d sadly missed saying goodbye to so this was a perfect end to the evening as I shared a quick lift up the road in their taxi and got to say goodbye too. See you at Race to the King Liam 🙂
I was waiting for the official “photo on arrival” before I posted this blog because if nothing else it proves I was there …. ha ha 🙂
Roll on 2018 ….. maybe 3 shortlistings in a row ???
Cheers ….. Rog