Run Norwich 10K with Jarrold Intersport


We asked who was up for a challenge and many of you responded to our calls, but there could only be two winners in the Jarrold Intersport x Run Norwich competition. We have been following the progress of both as they train towards the Norwich 10k.

Earlier this year we gave you the opportunity to win entry into the sold-out Run Norwich 10k on Sunday 5 August and a running package worth over £200 from Jarrold Intersport, the official retail partner for Run Norwich. All you had to do was let us know in no more than 200 words why you deserve to have a place in the Run Norwich 10k.

The entries came flooding in, but there could only be two winners and we have been following their progress as they get ready to take the challenge of the Run Norwich 10K.

Winner 1: Alex Atkinson

Alex from Norwich was nominated by his wife Michelle. Michelle said: “This year has been a difficult year for me, with stresses at work leading me to have some time off. Throughout that time Alex has been my rock, giving me the time and support needed to get back on my feet.

“This extends to him trying to find someone who is looking to transfer their place on the Norwich 10k so that I can enter, before trying to find a place for himself. He has recently started running 5k and is keen to challenge himself with a 10k. It would be lovely to do something for him to say thank you and give him the support and encouragement to complete the Norwich 10K.

“I’m really chuffed that Alex has won. It’s nice to be the one supporting him to achieve a goal for a change and I know that he’s going to do great.”

Alex said: “I'm really excited to have won, and a lovely surprise for my wife to have nominated me. I'm really looking forward to the challenge ahead.”

Winner 2: Sean Harris

Our second winner, Sean Harris from Norwich, is so passionate about winning a place in the Run Norwich 10k that he took to poetry to explain why. In his poem he explains the challenges of getting back into running, feeling like you are running through sand on the first attempts and how you have to fight that little voice in your head telling you that you cannot do it. Sean has discovered his motivation by running with friends and now he wants to challenge himself even more by training for the Norwich 10k.

Sean said: "It feels great to have been selected as one of the winners, and I'm really looking forward to taking part in the Run Norwich 10K. It's only recently that I started running again, but I'm really enjoying it - and my 10K time is slowly improving. Thanks to the competition organisers for the opportunity!"

Finding the right pair of running shoes

As most serious runners will know, the importance of wearing the correct fitting running shoes can not only help performance, but can also prevent injury.

As part of their Jarrold Intersport x Run Norwich competition prize, our Run Norwich winners Alex and Sean won £200 to spend at Jarrold Intersport which was to include a pair of running shoes. Before they could pick their trainers, both ran on the gait analysis machine at Jarrold Intersport to determine what running shoes are best suited for them.

Gait analysis is a method for identifying abnormalities in how you walk or run. It works by you running on a treadmill for a few minutes while the computer records and analyses how you run and if you put pressure on the sole or one side of your foot. The results will confirm whether you have a neutral or pronation and this then determines what running shoes are required to give you the support you need. If you are serious about running it’s important that you have a gait analysis before you buy your trainers and at Jarrol d Intersport this is free as part of its comprehensive fitting service.

Alex’s gait analysis highlighted the fact that he runs with his toes out and he has a slight pronation, so Jarrold Intersport's Bronwyn was on hand to offer some advice: “Most of the major sports brands offer running shoes that can correct pronation of the foot. These have supportive gels which work to correct the alignment of the foot , which prevent injury. I would also advice Alex to do squats with his feet facing forward as part of this exercise routine as this will strengthen these muscles.”

For his shoe fitting, Bronwyn selected a range of different running shoes from Nike to Asics for Alex to try on the gait analysis machine again to make sure that his pronation was corrected.

Alex said: “The gait analysis was enlightening as I used to get shin splints when I played football, so it was interesting to find out that this could have been caused by not wearing the correct trainers.”

Sean’s gait analysis showed that he needs extra arch support in his running shoes, so Jarrold Intersport's Dom helped him find the perfect fitting pair. Sean is quite a competitive runner and trying to beat his time is one of his main motivators, so Dom has volunteered to run alongside Sean in the Run Norwich 10K to act as a pacer to spur him on.

The challenges

As with any fitness challenge there are many obstacles to overcome. Some training days can feel easier than others, and when you think that you are making progress, something can suddenly stop you in your tracks.

Both have been helped along the way by attending the Jarrold Run Club, a weekly running club aimed to keep you motivated and challenged. Each week the club covers between 2.5 to 5km, and is a fun and sociable way to run. Guided by Run Club leaders Bronwyn Elsden and Dom Jarvis, running routes vary each week and you can also get help with any concerns you have over your running performance.

Alex said: “I’ve been to almost every Run Club so far and have found it a big help with my training for the 10K. I have found the biggest challenge has been the heat. Going for a run early in the morning before work and before it gets too hot has helped. Also Michelle has helped me with my pacing so that I’m not struggling as much running uphill. . I found the Run Club very beneficial. The varied distances and routes make it interesting and challenging. Everyone who goes is very friendly and it’s a relaxed atmosphere.”

Sean said: “Training for the Norwich 10k is going well. I have run some other 10k routes to prepare, and am hoping that the weather will be a bit cooler than we’ve had recently! I’ve attended the Jarrold Run Club, but not as frequently as I would like as I live outside Norwich, which is a shame as the group is great to run with to give you that extra motivation. The biggest challenge for me is running uphill, so I’m practicing this by incorporating inclines in my runs and I train at my local Park Run every week.”

Run Norwich is an annual 10k road race organised by the Community Sports Foundation that takes place in the heart of Norwich’s beautiful and historic city centre. The route passes some of the city’s most iconic landmarks such as Norwich Castle, The Forum and Norwich Cathedral. 

The Run Norwich 10K takes place on Sunday 5 August

Find out more about the Jarrold Run Club at Jarrold Intersport, London Street, Norwich 



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