Tom Bedford, Race Director
Tom has been working at running events all his life and was/is a keen runner having ran 2.19 for the marathon. Tom studied at St Mary’s College before taking a gap year to travel around the world working at many running events. After returning for London 2012, he came up with the idea to create a running festival from Kew Gardens to be Richmond Upon Thames Olympic legacy. He is now a part-time runner and a pretend footballer on the weekends.
Favourite part of putting on an event: I enjoy walking around Old Deer Park on Sunday seeing so many friends and families enjoying a beer with a smiling runner. We wanted to make the after-party as fun as possible for runners but also spectators. I think for a small race, we have achieved that.
Least favourite part putting on an event: 2-3 weeks before the event. It’s the last chance to fix any problems or order supplies so you spend the whole time worrying about what you have forgotten and if you’ve ordered enough. A very nervous time and you do not sleep well!
RUNFEST LTD (Company Reg No. 08521533). In 2013, the aim was to organise a fun local event in Richmond Upon Thames involving the whole family and the local community.
10 years later we have raised over £4million for our charity partners and have over 10,000 participants at our Richmond RUNFEST event. We are now branching out with a new RUNFEST event in Worthing and another event called Kew The Run in the beautiful Kew Gardens.
We also organised the British Olympic Marathon Trial in 2021.
This was a very well organised event especially in the current climate of uncertain times. Pre-race information was sent out early and all was clear. Clearly a lot of work had taken place to ensure this was a covid safe event and I did feel safe at all times. Kew Gardens is a beautiful setting for a run as the gardens are always stunningly kept. It was lovely to run past the famous greenhouse conservatory. The whole run was on paths within the grounds. The start was well organised with different coloured groups starting in different places. The start was staggered according to your predicted finish time. There were so many toilets available pre-race and they were being kept sanitised by the cleaning staff. The bag drop was by clearly organised by surname letter. It was a stunning day for the run. Lovely blue sky and bright sunshine, but not too warm. The course had many marshalls along the route cheering us on as obviously due to covid spectators were not allowed in. You did have the option of re-entering the gardens with your family for free after the race if you wanted to spend the day there, which I thought was fanatstic (even though my family didn’t take up the offer). The race route was clearly marked out and it didn’t feel crowded at all due to the staggered start times. The route was completely flat but had many turns. However it didn’t stop me from getting a 10k PB! Well done Richmond Runfest for great organisation and making this event happen. Riaz H. 2020