#BreakTheBias: Women and the endurance events industry

Our mission is to inspire people across the world to come together and experience moments that make them feel alive. We believe the true joy and beauty of these moments comes from the diverse experiences, opinions and actions of the people on the start line.

Our mission is to inspire people across the world to come together and experience moments that make them feel alive. We believe the true joy and beauty of these moments comes from the diverse experiences, opinions and actions of the people on the start line.

In honour of International Women’s Day 2022 and this year’s #BreakTheBias theme, we wanted to start a conversation about the gender bias in our industry. We reached out to some of our incredible female race organisers to talk about their experience as female leaders in endurance events.

Below you can find excerpts of these conversations, covering everything from their experiences of gender bias at work to what can be done to advance gender equality in our industry going forward.


Managing Director at Nice Work

Nice Work put on 240+ self-professed ‘friendly races’ a year across the UK. Their events are designed to be fully inclusive and aimed at runners of all abilities, ages and backgrounds.


Co-founder of LK adventures

LK adventures aim to take away any intimidation around races and events by hosting relatively small guided runs through the hills of Wales. Their events are inclusive, adventurous and open to all.


Co-Founder of Strive Fitness

Strive Fitness are an event organiser with a difference. Rather than exclusively working on races, they organise a range of training events like group runs and weight training sessions.


While improvements made towards total gender equality should be celebrated, there are lots of barriers women face that men don’t. One of those being the experience of work. All of our female race organisers noted aspects of their career that have been impacted by their gender.

Lara, co-founder of LK Adventures, told us that people don’t automatically respect her skills and experience as a woman:

“I come from an engineering background and at times as a young female doing onsite visits, you’re not always seen in the professional sense first”. Lara said that today she enjoys working with female trainers as she feels it creates a supportive atmosphere for women to train in:

“I think the environment you create working with women is particularly positive for females experiencing an event. For example, they may be more likely to speak up if they need to slow down–it helps to create a safe space of inclusion.”

Rosie, co-founder of Strive Fitness, has also experienced challenges as a woman working alone: ”I never liked to be alone working within a gym or doing home visits with clients. It felt like a potentially vulnerable position to be in”.

Rachael, managing director at Nice Work, feels that being a woman has directly impacted her work ethic: “I do think as women we have to work a lot harder. I’ve always been extremely determined and hard working and I think that feels like the only recipe for success”.


We know that the stats showing how many women attend events only tell half the story. We wanted to find out if our female organisers believe women feel encouraged, empowered and confident at events.

Rachael told us that pre-covid, the start line would generally be men only: “Women would move further back leaving the front line up to the men, so I’d go on a crusade with my microphone, inviting women to take their place at the front of the race”.

Interestingly, she’s seen that covid-safety measures have helped women feel less intimidated at races: “We started doing staggered start times and a lot of women told me they felt less intimidated and that the new measures eased their race day nerves”.

Rosie from Strive Fitness said she typically sees a drop in numbers of women at races and training in winter over fears around running in the dark. She finds that women who drop their mileage over the winter are often losing out on a key base training phase:

“I really struggle with this personally too. Knowing that you’ll probably be safe and actually feeling safe out running are unfortunately not the same thing.”


To support her female clients with their winter training, Rosie and the Strive team are working on creating a ‘safe group’ of female runners who can run together outside the winter.

Lara at LK Adventures is also passionate about creating a safe space for more women to get involved in sport: “Doing it in a group takes away the stress of ‘I don’t know where I’m going or am I safe?’ Because there are guides there and other people. Also women can make friends, improving that feeling of inclusion even more”.

Strive Fitness also have plans to create a weekly group winter training session for women: “We’re hoping we can also bring in a self-defence expert for some sessions so our runners can feel a little more confident when out alone.”


This year’s IWD theme is encouraging women to break the bias, remove stereotypes and challenge discrimination.

Lara believes some of these barriers can be broken down by focussing on creating inclusive event experiences:

“It’s important to nurture female athletes in general. An athlete is anyone who’s interested in sport and we should support them in all stages of their journey”.

Lara has found that introductory and intermediate courses are a great way to encourage women to feel more confident in taking on races and running in general:

“The hardest bit about running is the first bit because you’re constantly out of breath. Having people all together at a similar level gives you that space to think, okay I don’t have to be at a certain level to still be a runner.”

Rosie thinks representation online can help:

“Social media is helping break down barriers. There are far more women at the top of the game in fitness now than there were when I was starting out. They may have been around then but I didn’t have the exposure to them.”

Rachael has set measures in place to encourage women to feel comfortable on the day. At Nice Work events, she has made changes to everything from the pre-race briefing to the post-race prize giving:

“At the beginning of the race, I remind and encourage the men to look behind them, explaining that there may be a super fast female that’s going to overtake you and they should empower them to do that.”

Rachael also calls out the female winners first, “The industry body is outdated. The language is always male then female, and the veteran prize category for males starts at 40+ but 35+ for females! There is inequality there already”.

To #BreakTheBias, both men and women in positions of power must ask what they can do to help in their respective fields. Representation matters and we’re committed to ensuring that whatever your background, gender or circumstance, you feel welcome and empowered to take part. These conversations have highlighted issues we as a business can work on to make sure women feel empowered to enter races, safe whilst they’re training and included on race-day.

Thank you to Rachael, Lara and Rosie for inspiring us with your work and using your position to create inclusive and safe environments for women.

Thanks to ladies like you, there us so much cause for celebration over just how far the industry has come, as Rosie summed up nicely:

“It was 1967 when Katherine Switzer jumped the barrier at the Boston Marathon. That’s within my mum’s lifetime. Now she watches her daughter run ultra marathons and be a race director–that’s progress.”

Man listening to a running podcast while running|Phone with headphones

The 38 best running podcasts recommended by runners

There are few things more comforting than sticking on a podcast and heading out the front door for a run. Unlike music, running to a podcast offers total escape and often you’ll find that you’ve completed your run before you know it.

That said, finding the right podcast for running is tough and constantly searching through the sea of choices can often result in giving up and turning back to your trusty old running playlist.

However, as with movies or tv series, a recommendation makes you all the more likely to give it a try. So, given a lot of us at Let's Do This like running, I decided to ask around, and really get to the bottom of what podcasts people are listening to while running. Here's our list of the best running podcasts, recommended for runners, by runners. We hope you enjoy it.

Running Podcasts

I thought it made sense to start a post about running podcasts, with podcasts about running. That might seem obvious, but of all the recommendations that came in only 20% were running podcasts. The other 80% fell into other categories of more general podcasts that people just love listening to while running.


Here, Coach Jason Koop tackles all the topics of the ultra running world, with no holds barred. On the list of running podcast recommendations, this came in high, with particular reference to Koop’s smooth voice and array of highly qualified guests.

Best for: The ultimate running coach podcast

The Rich Roll Podcast

Rich Roll is a plant-powered ultra-athlete and all-round inspirational figure. In his podcasts he connects with some amazing guests to take a deeper look into wellness topics.

Best for: Long runs, with episodes often 90 mins +

Trail Runner Nation

I love trail running, so perhaps I am biased. Admittedly, Don and Scott talk a lot about trail running and the amazing things people are doing within the sport. But there is plenty on there for all runners - so don’t be put off if you’re not a trail runner!

Best for: Well, trail running of course

Humans of Ultrarunning

There is nothing quite like listening to the tales of ultrarunners. Their stories are raw, their recants are honest, and there’s not a host in the world who is more passionate about running than Candice Burt.

Best for: Zoning out on a long run

Running on Om

Despite its name, this isn’t all running. The podcast centres on women within endurance sport and the outdoors more generally, in an effort to dive into the connection of mind, body, and soul.

Best for: Post or pre run

Another Mother Runner

I have to admit, this one was a recommendation. From who? You guessed it, my mother. Having only just got into running, my mother finds the podcast informative, relatable, and inclusive.

Best for: Recommending to your mother

Run to the Top

Run to the Top offers a broader overview of the running world. With 5 new episodes per week, you can expect to hear from health scientists, expert nutritionists, and the latest running news.

Best for: Unleashing your inner running geek

The Runner's World UK Podcast

Runner's World weekly podcast episodes are released every Tuesday and take a look at everything that's going on in the world of running. The tone is friendly and informal, but the content informative and opinionated. If you're here to learn more about running and its latest quirks, then definitely give this a try.

Best for: Short, sharp lunch time runs

A Runner's Life Podcast

Join Marcus Brown - commonly referred to as Marathon Marcus - in his weekly instalments which explore individual runner's lives and what being a member of the running community means to them. I love this podcast for running, and at about an hour an episode, it's ideal for a medium distance run.

Best for: Realising the similarities that all runners have

Sport Podcasts

Of course, running podcasts are just the tip of the iceberg. . There are a whole host of general sports podcasts out there that can supply an endless stream of inspiration and entertainment while you’re running. 

The Edge with Joey Barton

Joey Barton, English football’s eternal villain. If you’ve not heard of him, Barton is a love / hate type of figure. True to form, his podcast gives open and honest accounts of the successes and failures behind elite performance in sport.

Best for: Running a PB or training for an event

The Grade Cricketer

This one is niche, but we don’t mind that. If you don’t like cricket, then I’d suggest you keep scrolling. The Grade Cricketer is a comedy podcast about the broken dreams of young kids wanting to play high-level sport, but who never quite got there - I’m sure many of us can relate here.

Best for: Taking it easy on a cool-down run

30 for 30 Podcasts

From the producers of the 30 from 30 documentary series, the podcast is great for all sports fans. It offers an insight into how sports more generally have impacted society and the way we live.

Best for: Despite its name these are mostly ~ 1 hour in length - so a long-ish run

Laughter Permitted with Julie Foudy

Former US football team captain, Julie Foudy, interviews a whole host of iconic sporting figures - delving into their sporting careers and how these intersected with normal life. Very funny.

Best for: A friday afternoon run

Watts Occurring

This recommendation came in from the audience. Described as chilled Welsh humour, with the odd bit of cycling the podcast is hosted by Welsh cyclists Geraint Thomas and Luke Rowe.

Best for: Cooling down on the exercise bike after a tough gym session

Inspiring Podcasts

Running can be hard, and often requires motivation. Often this motivation is fueled by your go-to pump up playlist. But trust me, the right podcast can inspire and motivate you while running as well as any playlist.

Desert Island Discs

Desert Island Discs is THE podcast. Created by Roy Plomley in 1942, the podcast has since been hosted by Michael Parkinson, Sue Lawley, Kirsty Young, and Lauren Laverne. Guests share songs and stories about their lives, before being cast away with one song, a book, and a luxury.

Best for: Running (seriously, these are great for any run, any time, any place)

Happy Place, Fearne Cotton

Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place speaks to inspirational guests about their lives. Not the regular day-to-day, but changes they’ve made to their own situations or how they’ve helped others to see the world in a new light. If you have to listen to one episode, I’d recommend Kirsty Young’s - where the tables are turned on the former Desert Island Discs presenter.

Best for: Stress relieving running after a long day

Unlocking Us

Perfect for when you need a positive pick-me-up and want to feel like you’re running with a friend. I could write an entire paragraph about Brene Brown’s credentials alone, but in short she’s a best selling author and researching with a gift for interacting with her topics and guests.

Best for: When you’re really low on running motivation

How to fail with Elizabeth Day

In running, sport, and life, failure is a regularity. We often shy away from the topic; Day does the opposite, celebrating failure and the lessons that can be learned from it.

Best for: Sustained running motivation

The Makers Podcast

Conversations with entrepreneurs, athletes and actresses (think David Gandy, Chris Robshaw, Mindful Chef CoFounders) focused on mental health and success. This came in high on the recommendations.

Best for: Midweek running

Business Podcasts

Ever looked at a business and asked yourself the question, why didn’t I think of that? Well, you’re not alone. Luckily, there are a number of great podcasts which can explain precisely why you didn’t think of it and detail the stories behind the names. This category was extremely popular.

How I built this, Guy Raz

How I Built This gives you a closer look at how some of the world’s most well-known companies came into being. It’ll quickly confirm that it’s about a lot more than just having a good idea.

Best for: Running motivation to get back to your desk and start a business

Masters Of Scale - Reid Hoffman

Interviews with the founders of a variety of key startups like Shopify, Slack, Google, Bumble. Guests dive into challenges they faced, and how they overcame them to scale into the multimillion dollar companies they are today.

Best for: That billion-dollar idea in the shower after running

How I grew my brand - Piper

Get ready for 1-1 interviews with a number high profile entrepreneurs about how they built their brands. Highlights were Bloom and Wild, Deliciously Ella, Propercorn.

Best for: Running off the Sunday blues

My First Million

No idea is a bad idea. Listen to two successful entrepreneurs - Shaan and Sam - having uncensored brainstorming sessions with a new guest each week. Importantly, these guys actually know what they’re talking about.

Best for: Scribbling down ideas while still you have runner’s high

The Pitch

Imagine Dragon’s Den, but a podcast. The Pitch throws you into the unknown and fascinating world of startups; taking a deeper look at what investors really want to see, and how entrepreneurs sell their dreams.

Best for: Weeknight runs - these episodes are addictive

The Venture

Each episode takes you on a journey into the lives of corporate entrepreneurs and how they designed, built and scaled their companies.

Best for: Running your own business

Best of the rest

As mentioned earlier, the majority of podcasts I was recommended didn’t actually involve running. This last section is like a box of chocolates; some make people laugh, some bring the daily news, some simply offer new perspectives. The one thing they all have in common is that they are all recommended for, you guessed it, listening to while running.

No such thing as a fish

These guys are great, and topped the ranks of best podcasts amongst the Let’s Do This team. Each week, Dan, James, Anna, and James (the writers of QI), give a run down of their favourite weird and wonderful facts from the last 7 days.

Best for: Lunch time running to take your mind off work

My dad wrote a porno

Imagine the worst written porno of all time… now imagine the author is your dad. This podcast is sheer comedy gold. If you’re ever feeling a bit down or demotivated for running, this is guaranteed to perk you up.

Best for: Weekend running when you have no worries in the world

Getting curious with Jonathan Van Ness

Van Ness’ interview style is inquisitive and his positive energy infectious, making this podcast feel uplifting despite covering some important topics.

Best for: Learning something new while running

Today in focus

Produced by The Guardian and released every weekday, Today in Focus takes a deeper look at the major news story of the day. These short 20 - 30 minute episodes offer a wealth of information and perspective on important current affairs.

Best for: Morning running to get your daily news digest 

The Inquiry - BBC World Service

These easily digestible 20 minute debates unpack 1 headline from current affairs each week. Topics like 'What will Donald Trump do next?', 'Should we ban billionaires' or 'How soon can we go carbon zero' give you a flavour of what this podcast is all about.

Best for: A quick 5k

Grounded with Louis Theroux

New for lockdown, this is Theroux at his best. Louis unpacks the life stories of a number of high-profile celebrities, charting the inevitable ups and downs that come with fame. It's worth listening to Louis Theroux's desert island discs as well.

Best for: At ~ 1 hour these make for a good 10k

Table Manners

Join Jessie Ware and her mum at their dinner table for this light-hearted podcast. Touching on arts, music, family, and culture this podcast really does feel like you’re eavesdropping on dinner table chat.

Best for: Unwinding after a long run

Reply All

In theory, this is a podcast about the internet, but in practice it’s so much more than that. Hosted by PJ Vogt, Alex Goldman, and Emmanuel Dzotsi, Reply All takes a deeper look at modern life during the age of tech.

Best for: Learning something completely new while running


We live in a strange world, that much is clear. Hosts Jad Abumrad, Lulu Miller, and Latif Nasser challenge predetermined views about how the world works, through provocative and investigative journalism.

Best for: Running a new route and broadening your horizons

This American Life

Get ready for stories - well-researched, well-presented stories. I really mean that, these guys won the first-ever Pulitzer Prize for a radio show / podcast. This is 21st century journalism at its finest.

Best for: A slow, recovery run - you’ll want to pay attention to these


Heavyweight takes guests back to the one moment in their lives that they wish they could change. I have to say, this one comes highly recommended, and to quote the referee: ‘if you’ve not listened to the Rob episode you HAVE to have that experience in your life.

Best for: A nostalgic run

More Perfect 

This one comes from the producers of Radiolab (also recommended above). The podcast dives into the Supreme Court and the stories that lie behind its biggest decisions.

Best for: Running while learning

Science VS

Struggling to discern fact vs fiction these days? If so, I’d give this a listen. The hosts dive into commonly held opinions, strip them down, bolster or bust them and finally, replace them with scientific facts.

Best for: not running away from the truth

Can't see your favourite podcast for running? Let us know in the comments and we'll add it in!

Coronavirus Update : UK Events

Last updated:  18th November 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the UK endurance event calendar. We will keep this page updated to reflect latest developments and news from the government, sports governing bodies, and event organisers.

What is the Status of Events in the UK?


Following the announcement from the UK Government on the new national COVID-19 restrictions requiring everyone in England to stay at home, except for specific purposes, participation sports events are currently suspended. See below for the latest governing body advice across the UK.

Running: England Athletics advises all outdoor competition is suspended from Thursday 5th November 2020 until at least Wednesday 2nd December 2020. Virtual Competitions are able to continue to take place. EA remains in dialogue with the UK Government and aims to publish detailed advice on how the new guidance will change in advance of Wednesday 2nd December.

Cycling: Events are temporarily suspended until at least Wednesday 2nd December. We’re waiting for further guidance from British Cycling to understand when we can expect cycling events in England to return. 

Triathlon: Like running and cycling events, triathlon events are suspended until at least Wednesday 2nd December. British Triathlon is requesting clarity and further detail on the measures and will update their guidance accordingly.


In Scotland, a system of local protection levels is in place. You can check the protection level (tier) for your area here. 

Running: Following the introduction of the protection levels, Scottish Athletics advises outdoor events are permitted to take place, provided current local guidelines are adhered to.

Cycling: Scottish Cycling advises all event organisers to consider if the event they are planning is possible within current local guidelines. Check with your event organiser to find out if your event is going ahead.

Triathlon: Scottish Triathlon advises events can take place, with a maximum of 200 people (including participants, organisers, technical officials, marshalls and medical assistance) on event day. Find more information on how the protection levels affect triathlons here.


Sport Wales advises that from Monday 9th November following the national ‘firebreak’, up to 30 people can take part in organised outdoors activities, but organisers will need to take all reasonable measures to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Children aged under 11 and those organising the activity are not included in these numbers.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will I know what's happening to my event?

The temporary nature of the lockdown restrictions currently in place in England leaves governing bodies unclear as to when participation events will be able to resume. Hopefully, your event organiser has already been in touch with you if your event has been postponed or cancelled. If you’re still unclear, we’d advise you to bear with them as they work out the best path forward for your entry, until further guidance is published.

Can I get a refund if my event has been cancelled or postponed?

Refund and cancellation policies will vary by event so please contact your event organiser to understand what their policy is for your event. Many organisers are choosing to postpone their events, or are offering free transfers to an alternative event rather than offering a refund. However, if your event has been cancelled outright (but not postponed), you should be entitled to a refund.

Before claiming a refund, please consider the impact this may have on your event organiser. Organising events is a low-margin business at the best of times, and many organisers have already paid substantial upfront costs for their events, which they are unable to recover.

If you feel you can afford it, we would urge you to avoid requesting a refund if at all possible in order to support these events which we all love competing in so much. If everyone claims refunds, they may not be around for us to enjoy once social distancing restrictions are lifted.

Further Resources & Latest Information

UK Government Coronavirus Guidance

Scottish Government Coronavirus Guidance

Welsh Government Coronavirus Guidance

WHO Guidelines on COVID-19


Coronavirus Update : UK Events

Last updated:  15th July 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the UK endurance event calendar, we will keep this page updated to reflect latest developments and news from the government, sports governing bodies, and event organisers.

Latest news

Triathlons are now permitted in England

British Triathlon and Triathlon England have published guidance on how to safely resume events following the UK government announcement permitting recreational sports in England from the 25th July. Events in Scotland and Wales are not yet permitted to return. Event organisers wishing to host an event in England will need to apply to British Triathlon for a license to host an event, and must prove that they will be able to host their event in a COVID-19 secure way.

When will events start again?

Running Events

Recent government advice permitting recreational sport from July 25th means that we expect physical running events to begin as early as August. However, we are still waiting on formal guidance from RunBritain for event organisers wishing to host events in a COVID-19 secure way before events start returning.


Triathlons in England have been given the go-ahead from July 25th, but are not yet permitted in Scotland and Wales. Events will need to adhere to COVID-19 secure measures in order to obtain a licence. Make sure you check with the event organiser first.

Cycling Events

We're waiting for further guidance from British Cycling to understand when we can expect cycling events to return.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a refund if my event has been cancelled or postponed?

Refund and cancellation policies will vary by event so please contact your event organiser to understand what their policy is for your event. Many organisers are choosing to postpone their events, or are offering free transfers to an alternative event rather than offering a refund. However, if your event has been cancelled outright (but not postponed), you should be entitled to a refund.

Before claiming a refund, please consider the impact this may have on your event organiser. Organising events is a low-margin business at the best of times, and many organisers have already paid substantial upfront costs for their events which they are unable to recover.

If you feel you can afford it, we would urge you to avoid requesting a refund if at all possible in order to support these events which we all love competing in so much. If everyone claims refunds, they may not be around for us to enjoy once social distancing restrictions are lifted.

What is a virtual event?

Faced with all physical events being cancelled or postponed due to social distancing requirements, many organisers and participants have opted for virtual events instead.

A virtual event is one where everyone completes the required distance in their own time and uploads their results digitally. Many people were taking part in virtual events before lockdown due to the convenience (no need to get up early and travel!), but they have surged in popularity during lockdown as lots of physical events have switched to virtual events.

Use Let's Do This to find upcoming Virtual Events.

Further Resources & Latest Information

England Athletics Update - 10th July

Official UK Government advice on Coronavirus

WHO Guidelines on COVID-19


How a Virtual Run Can Help Your Business

Here at Let's Do This, we know how scary it is to be a small business during the Coronavirus pandemic, especially when your revenue streams are put under immense pressure. That's why we built our Virtual Event solution, where we will work completely at cost to help you set up a new way of fundraising for your business and keep you connected with your community during the Coronavirus pandemic.

''This event provided funding for a pandemic-related charity as well as vital income to support my business in a time when our normal revenue streams had gone to zero."

Gavin McKiernan, Mercury Events

What is a Virtual Run?

A Virtual Run is a run or walk organized by your business that participants can complete in their own time, at their own pace. Participants can take part from all over the world; start and finish lines can be their front door, the local park, a treadmill or even their balcony.

Once they complete the run, they instantly become part of a community by submitting both a finishing time, and a selfie if they wish! They can see how they stack up against others in our virtual leaderboard. Uploading photos offers a true sense of community for all participants.

See our Virtual Event Handbook, which explains the concept to runners.

Benefits for a Small Business of Hosting a Virtual Run:

  • Revenue: Revenue is hard to come by right now, but by asking for a small donation from your loyal customer base, this is a great source of temporary income.
  • Community: People are desperate for a sense of community right now, and what better way to do so then promoting your brand to like-minded people, and giving them a goal to work towards?

Virtual Run Case Study

Last week we hosted the 'Social Distancing 6k'.

  • Sold 1200+ tickets in a week
  • The event generated $30k+ revenue


"Let’s Do This was integral to the success of the Virtual run/walk I put on. They managed the registration page, where more than 1200 people signed up in less than 10 days. They set up an excellent system for reporting and verification of results that participants were able to easily use. This event provided funding for a pandemic-related charity as well as vital income to support my business in a time when our normal revenue streams had gone to zero.

The entire event took five minutes to set up and required barely any input from me after that, leaving me more time to concentrate on marketing and interacting with my participants. I highly recommend Let’s Do This to other event organizers."

 Gavin McKiernan, Mercury Events

How to Host A Virtual Run with Let's Do This:

  • Get in touch with us if you're interested in putting on a Virtual Event
  • We create an event for you, making sure it has the look and feel you need to best promote your brand
  • You use your distribution channels to promote the event to your user base
  • That's it! We do absolutely everything else, from registrations to result submissions and everything in between.


If you wish to find out more about setting up your own Virtual Run, please email

COVID-19: How is the UK government helping the self-employed?

Last updated: Friday 27th March 9am

NOTE: if you're structured as a limited company, this post will be more relevant to you.

On Thursday, the chancellor heeded calls to do more to help the UK's self-employed, bringing them into line with employees.

"Today I'm announcing a new self-employed income support scheme," opened chancellor Rishi Sunak. The measures he went onto announce were a response to mounting pressure to do more for the self-employed, and will apply to 3.8 million of the UK's 5 million self-employed workers. They go much further than the measures he announced back on Friday 20th March.

With so many Race Directors operating as sole traders (i.e. self-employed), we wanted to distil the latest information to help you understand what help is available.

State support for the self-employed now comes in three forms:

1. the "Coronavirus Self-Employed Income Support" scheme
2. Universal Credit
3. deferred tax payments

1. Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support scheme

Who is eligible?

The scheme is open to those who have had taxable profits of up to £50,000, and who have earned at least 50% of their income from self-employment.

These criteria will be assessed according either to your 2019-2020 tax return (filed in January) or to the average of your last 3 years' tax returns. If the conditions are true for either of these, then you are eligible.

To ensure no-one misses out, the government have given anyone who missed the January tax return deadline until 23rd April to submit theirs. So if you haven't yet done so - don't delay.

How much will I get?

The scheme closely mirrors that which the chancellor announced a week earlier for furloughed employees: you will receive 80% of your average monthly profits over the last 3 years (or from when you started as a sole trader, if you've been doing it less than 3 years), up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

The scheme will last for 3 months, but the chancellor has left the door open to extend it, depending on how the crisis develops.

Note that the payments will be taxable in January 2022 tax returns.

How will I get the money?

HMRC will contact you if you are eligible for the scheme and invite you to apply online. You do not need to do anything until contacted by them.

The payment will arrive directly into your bank account in one instalment for all 3 months. It will arrive "no later than the beginning of June".

Note that applications will be made through the website - any other application portal is a scam.

Can I continue working?

Yes. Unlike furloughed employees, you can continue working and still get the income support payment. But note that one eligibility criterion is "must have lost trading profits due to COVID-19".

2. Universal Credit

No Minimum Income Floor

In his speech on Friday 20th, the chancellor said that, from 6th April until the end of the outbreak, he is suspending the Minimum Income Floor (MIF) for all self-employed workers affected by the economic impact of Coronavirus. Before this intervention, any self-employed worker claiming Universal Credit was assumed, for the purposes of their claim, to be earning at least the MIF, whether or not they were actually earning that much. That meant that if their earnings dropped below the MIF, their benefit payments from Universal Credit did not correspondingly go up. It was a harsh rule.

The MIF is specific to each individual, and is calculated by multiplying the number of hours the individual could be expected to work (this varies according to health and parenthood, but generally 35 hours) by the National Minimum Wage for the individual’s age. Suspending the MIF increases the amount of Universal Credit that self-employed people can claim if they can’t work/earn during the pandemic (whether or not they are actually sick themselves).

Increased Standard Allowance

The chancellor announced that the Universal Credit standard allowance (one of many components that make up the amount that any Universal Credit claimant is entitled to) will be increased by £1000 per year, for the next 12 months. For context, the standard monthly payment for a single person over 25 was £317.82. The increase takes that figure to £401.15.

Am I eligible?

To be eligible for Universal Credit, you and your partner between you cannot have more than £16,000 in savings.

In addition, to be eligible, either you or your partner must be under the state pension age. Full eligibility criteria can be found on this government webpage.

How much will I get?

The chancellor said that “every self-employed person can now access, in full, Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees.” That’s currently £94.25/week, rising to £95.85/week on 6th April. However, if this is relevant to you, I’d encourage you to use a benefits calculator (like this one) to see how much you’re entitled to.

How to apply for Universal Credit

The government has said it will make it "quicker and easier" for self-employed workers seeing a sudden drop in income to access benefits. New claimants will not need to attend the jobcentre; applications can be done online or on the phone.

It takes at least 5 weeks from making your claim to receiving your first payment - so don’t delay. (Although you can get an advance on your first payment in the form of a loan.)

3. Deferred tax payments

The third tactic that government is using right now to help the self-employed is deferring certain tax payments. All the tax will still need to be paid eventually, but, by deferring the dates that it’s due to be paid, the government is hoping to help the self-employed with short-term cash flow.

Income tax

The government is deferring the next round of self-assessment payments from 31st July 2020 to 31st January 2021.


For VAT-registered businesses (including self-employed workers), any VAT liabilities accumulated between 20th March and 30th June do not need to be paid to HMRC until the end of the 2020/2021 tax year, i.e. 6th April 2021.

What about Race Directors who operate as a limited company?

I did another post on this a few days ago, but in a nutshell: if your business occupies a property and is eligible for Small Business Rates Relief, then you're eligible for a £10,000 grant. If you don't occupy property, you won't be eligible for the grant.

Beyond that, it's not clear what you'll get. Regarding the self-employment income support scheme outlined above, this BBC article clearly says that "Company owners who pay themselves a dividend are not covered."

Will you benefit from the 80% salary protection scheme for furloughed employees that the chancellor announced on Friday 20th? My best guess (and it is only a guess at this stage) is this: the 80% protection scheme is based on an employee's February earnings. So if you paid yourself a salary in February, then the government will offer to cover 80% of that salary (up to a maximum of £2500 per month). But if you did not, then you will have to fall back on Universal Credit (as outlined above).

Going forward

In the meantime, as before, get in touch with me at or on the Race Directors’ Hub and I will try to answer any questions you might have.

Best of luck once again to everyone through this turbulent and uncertain period.

Helpful resources:

Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme
The government webpage on the Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme
The chancellor's speech from Thursday 26th March

Universal Credit
The government webpage on Universal Credit (apply online via here)
Universal Credit information website on Coronavirus
Money Advice Service on Coronavirus and on Universal Credit
The chancellor's speech from Friday 20th March

COVID-19: How will government help UK Race Directors?

EDIT 27th March: this post only covers government support for limited companies. For support for the self-employed, see this post.

On Tuesday 17th, the chancellor Rishi Sunak came out with a wave of measures to help British businesses survive the COVID-19 pandemic. The number that caught headlines was his “£350 billion lifeline for the economy”. But what does it mean for Race Directors?

The support comes in 4 forms:
       - Cash grants
       - Business rates relief
       - Loans
       - Employee sick pay repayment

The last two measures are intended mainly for larger businesses, so this post only looks at the first two measures.

Note that these two measures will only support limited companies, and not charities, voluntary organisations (e.g. running clubs) or sole traders (i.e. self-employed). If you're self-employed, see this post in which I go into detail about your options. If you're a limited company, read on.

What am I eligible for?

It’s all about what business rates you pay. First we’ll look at cash grants, then at business rates relief. In each case, we’ll start from the smallest businesses and work our way up.

1. Cash Grants

If, like most Race Directors, you don’t pay business rates and don't have a business premises (i.e. you work from home), then currently you’re not eligible for a cash grant.

If you do have a business premises and are eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (“SBRR”; learn more here), you are eligible for the £10,000 grant.  (NB it's a grant, not a loan, so it does not need to be paid back.)

If you are a larger business, and ineligible for SBRR, then right now you are ineligible for a grant. This is because grants at that level are only being made available to businesses in the “Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure” (RHL) sectors. Right now, races are not being included in this. By contrast, RHL businesses at this level are eligible for grants of up to £25,000 each.

For businesses with rateable values over £51,000 (very few race organisations), more information will be published shortly after 23rd March. This is likely to be done through loans not grants.

I'm eligible for SBRR. How do I claim my £10,000 grant?

There’s a lot we still don’t know. It’s been announced that the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy will be writing to local authorities this week to outline the scheme. And we’ve been told that once it’s up-and-running, your local authority will contact you, and you won’t have to apply yourself.

How the government actually administrates this measure to make sure that all the smallest businesses get a £10,000 grant still needs a lot of clarification. In all likelihood there will be an element of business applying proactively to local authorities to get the grant.

Funding will not be available until April.

2. Business Rates Relief

If you don’t currently pay business rates, then clearly this doesn’t apply to you.

If you do pay business rates, at any level, then currently you are not eligible for any “holiday” from rates. Again, this is because rates relief is only being given to the “Retail, Hospitality, and Leisure” sectors right now, and that doesn’t currently include races.

In Summary

That’s a lot to take in, so we’ve summarised the measures in this table, and broken them down by Rateable Property Value (which determines what business rates you pay) and also by RHL vs Races:

COVID-19: Cash grants and Business rates relief

Green = changed by the chancellor’s measures
Red = unchanged by the chancellor’s measures
RHL = Retail, Hospitality, Leisure (this currently does NOT include races)

*Businesses in these categories are eligible for SBRR. Those with rateable values below £12k don’t currently pay any business rates anyway.
†  “No holiday” just means you'll pay your normal business rates - you won't get any relief.

I own my own company and pay myself a dividend. What will I get?

If your business occupies a property and is eligible for SBRR, then you're eligible for a £10,000 grant (as explained above). If you don't occupy property, you won't be eligible for the grant.

Beyond that, it's not clear what you'll get. Regarding the Self-employment Income Support scheme announced on Thursday 26th, this BBC article clearly says that "Company owners who pay themselves a dividend are not covered."

Will you benefit from the 80% salary protection scheme for furloughed employees that the chancellor announced on Friday 20th? My best guess (and it is only a guess at this stage) is this: the 80% protection scheme is based on an employee's February earnings. So if you paid yourself a salary in February, then the government will offer to cover 80% of that salary (up to a maximum of £2500 per month). But if you did not, then you will have to fall back on Universal Credit.

I've written another post (about the self-employed) that goes into much more detail on the Self-employment Income Support scheme and Universal Credit.

Looking ahead

If you have any other questions about these measures, just let me know via It's a fast-changing situation - there's a lot we still don't know, but I'll do my best to answer.

I’ll be coming back with regular updates as these measures are fleshed out by government.

Very best of luck to everyone in these most uncertain and difficult times.

Helpful resources:
COVID-19: Government support for businesses
The chancellor’s speech from Tuesday 17th March
My post about state support for the self-employed (up-to-date on Friday 27th March)

12 best Olympic distance triathlons in the world

All Olympic triathlons are 1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run, but each experience is completely different. Here are the best on the circuit.

At Let’s Do This, we’re always on the look out for the best events for you to discover next. The Olympic Distance Triathlon, also known as the Standard or International Distance, includes a 1.5km/0.93 mile swim, a 40km/24.85 mile bike, and a 10km/6.2 mile run. So, I’ve picked out some of the most iconic Olympic triathlons in the world.

From landmark city events to exotic tours, and covering 4 continents, here are the 9 most incredible swim-bike-run events over the Olympic Distance plus a few more that don’t quite fit the official distances but I wanted to include for good measure. Having competed in the 2019 Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Nice, these Olympic Distances triathlons are definitely on my bucket list.

Find your next Olympic triathlon

 1. Nautica Malibu Triathlon, California, USA

When: September

The route: The swim section takes place in the epic Pacific Ocean, the bike course takes you out-and-back along the awe-inspiring Pacific Coast Highway, and the tarmac run takes you along the sands of Zuma Beach. That’s a pretty impressive course description.

Why: You will benefit from some incredible views of the ocean on one side and mountains on the other. This event is also a great opportunity for celebrity-spotting, as there as an Entertainment Industry Challenge over a slightly shorter course for charity. In previous years, Tom Cruise, Jennifer Lopez, and Jennifer Garner have taken part. 

View Event

2. Royal Windsor Triathlon, UK

When: June

The route: After a swim in the famous River Thames, you’ll pass through the historic streets of Windsor and past Windsor Castle on your bike before heading into the surrounding countryside. The run takes you into Windsor Great Park, along the impressive Long Walk. A royal flush!

Why: No triathlon comes close to this one for prestigious surroundings, and you’ll leave feeling like a true royal. Not many people can claim to have biked around the Queen’s own grounds. The picturesque views and historic landmarks make this triathlon fit for a King. Who will be crowned winner?

View Event

3. Hamburg Wasser World Triathlon, Germany

When: July

The route: The swim is one lap of the Outer Alster Lake (or Außenalster), before the bike leg takes you on three laps through the heart of the city, including historic areas such as Speicherstadt, Landungsbrücken, and Reeperbahn. The final run section follows the west bank of the swimming Lake.

Why: This is one of the few city triathlons that actually passes through the heart of the city. Taking in the most famous warehouse district, the St Pauli Piers, and the heart of the entertainment and nightlife district, you get a great feel for Hamburg’s old town. This event boasts the world’s biggest crowds for a triathlon, with over 300,000 spectators lining the streets and cheering you all the way. 

View Event

4. Beijing International Triathlon, China

When: October

The route: The course focuses on the scenic setting of Fengtai. The swim is in Garden Expo lake, and then the bike is a challenging route through Fengtai’s picturesque villages and up Qian Ling Mountain. The run passes through colourful gardens and then back up the steep steps of Garden Expo Park to the finish.

Why: This event allows you to experience Fengtai’s eco-friendly environment and cultural landmarks. The lush gardens of the Garden Expo are modeled on some of China’s most iconic regions, so it’s a fascinating observation of China’s natural scenery. It is also a chance to qualify for the Escape from Alcatraz triathlon below.

View Event

5. London Triathlon, UK

When: August

The route: The swim is in the Royal Victoria Dock of East London. The bike then takes you along the north bank of the River Thames, until a turning point at the iconic Houses of Parliament in Westminster. You then complete 4 laps of the run, cheered on every step of the way by large crowds and pumping music.

Why: One of the biggest mass-participation triathlon events in the world, with over 12,000 competitors. It is also one of the best organised triathlons, with the ExCel Centre serving as the main event hub and providing a range of shops, entertainment and atmosphere. For all competitors and spectators, this is a day that will stick long in the memory. The event spans the entire weekend and becomes a festival for triathlon sport.

View Event

6. Chicago Triathlon, USA

When: August

The route: Following a swim in the sheltered Monroe Harbour, and a traffic-free bike course through one of America’s largest metropolises, the run section goes through the iconic Museum Campus, surrounded by raucous and inspirational support. 

Why: Swimming in crystal clear water while skyscrapers tower above you has to be on any triathlete’s bucket list. This is one of the most spectacular city triathlons on the circuit, and on the bike course you might begin to understand why Chicago is known as the windy city - hold on!

View Event

7. Noosa Triathlon, Australia

When: November

The route: The swim leg takes place in the calm but stunning waters of Laguna Bay off Noosa Main Beach. The bike section takes you out from Noosa Heads along to Noosa Sound with some technical climbs and downhill sections, before returning for Transition 2. You finish with an out-and-back run with a grandstand finish on the waterfront.

Why: This is one of the biggest multi-sport festivals in the world, and offers the perfect combination of sun, sand, and sea. Not only is the event a huge adrenaline rush, but the end of weekend celebrations start off with a massive beach party at the Surf Club, and then things really get going at the Reef Hotel after party.

View Event

8. Herbalife24 Triathlon Los Angeles, USA

When: May

The route: Starting at the iconic Venice Beach, you swim in the Pacific Ocean before getting on your bike and heading through the streets of LA, heading uphill to Olympic Boulevard. After some scenic hills, you head down into Downtown LA for the run, which heads west towards Koreatown on a two-lap course. This route gives you a taste of everything LA has to offer. 

Why: This is a completely unique way of experiencing the variety and sights of Los Angeles. The setting on Venice Beach alone is breathtaking enough, but this event has the lot. It’s highly reviewed for its flat and fast course design, and there are Sprint and Relay options if you aren’t yet ready for the International Distance. 

View Event

9. Women Only Triathlon, Berkshire, UK

When: July

The route: The swim takes place in the clear waters of Dorney Lake, which was used for rowing events in the Olympics. The bike and run courses are then completely flat taking you around the lake and giving you a great opportunity for a PB. Now that’s girl power.

Why: This race is a great opportunity for women to get involved with triathlons, as it’s exclusively for female triathletes. Beyond the Olympic Triathlon, there are 7 other distances on offer, as well as other multisports, so women of all abilities can come and have a go. If this wasn’t already reason enough to sign up, the event is organised to raise money for Breast Cancer Care. 

View Event

Ok, so I couldn’t resist adding a few more events that don’t quite fit into the Olympic distance triathlon category. But, if you're here looking for some truly epic triathlon events around the planet, then definitely check these ones out.

10. Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon, San Francisco, USA

When: June

The route: Distances: 1.4 mile (2.4km) swim; 18 mile (29km) bike; 8 mile (12.9km) run. Jumping off the Belle steamboat into the strong currents of San Francisco Bay’s spine-chilling waters, the 1.4-mile (2.4km) swim goes from the infamous Alcatraz Island to Marina Green Beach, by St Francis Yacht Club on the shore. This is followed by a challenging bike section which includes stretches in the Presidio, the Golden Gate Park, and on the Great Highway before returning to Marina Green. The even more challenging run finishes off the route, turning at Lincoln Boulevard by Baker Beach Battery, before heading through deep sand and up 400 cliff steps until they finally head back to the hub. 

Why: This has become one of the most famous triathlons on the circuit, and is the target of several qualifying races (see the Beijing International Triathlon above). Each leg provides its own fresh challenges, and even the most experienced triathletes will really have to dig deep at a number of stages. The payoff is definitely worth it though, as it is an event on many triathlon bucket lists, and for good reason. 

View Event

11. Laguna Phuket Triathlon, Thailand

When: November 

The route: Distances: 1.8km swim; 55km bike; 12km run. Starting from the beaches of Laguna Beach Resort, you swim in the crystal blue waters of the Andaman Sea, including an ‘Australian exit’ two-thirds through, where you exit the water before running to the lagoon finish. The bike course takes you through the northern section of Phuket, with some challenging ascents up the Naithon hills. The route takes you through stunning rainforests and finishes with two laps of the Resort. The run leg stays within the resort passing various landmarks.

Why: The above description should give you an idea of how luxurious the surroundings are. The climate will be hot and humid, so it’s a challenge, but the breathtaking setting makes it all worth it. However exhausted you are, you’ll definitely be able to find energy for the after party at Laguna Grove, where the cocktails are copious.

View Event

12. Alpe d’Huez Triathlon M, France

When: July

The route: Distances: 1.2km swim; 28km bike; 6.7km run. The short, fast swim takes place in Lac du Verney, where it is not permitted to swim at any other time of year. The bike starts off by passing through the valley between Lac du Verney and Bourg d’Oisans, before heading up the legendary Alpe d’Huez climb and all of its 21 switchbacks. The gradient reaches 8%, and you’ll feel like you’re part of the Tour de France. The altitude run (1800m) climbs another 100m and requires a serious effort of endurance, but its worth it for the sense of pride as you cross the finish line. 

Why: There is no more fitting location for a multi-sport endurance event than the French Alps. With unforgettable scenery and a challenging course, this will be an achievement you tell your grandchildren about. There is also a Triathlon L for those seeking an even longer test of mental and physical fortitude. 

View Event

The list of best Olympic distance triathlons: 

  1. Nautica Malibu Triathlon, California, USA
  2. Royal Windsor Triathlon, UK
  3. Hamburg Wasser World Triathlon, Germany
  4. Beijing International Triathlon, China
  5. London Triathlon, UK
  6. Chicago Triathlon, USA
  7. Noosa Triathlon, Australia
  8. Herbalife24 Triathlon Los Angeles, USA
  9. Women Only Triathlon, Berkshire, USA
  10. Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon, San Francisco, USA
  11. Laguna Phuket Triathlon, Thailand
  12. Alpe d'Huez Triathlon M, France

Can't see your favourite triathlon? Let us know in the comments and we'll add it in.

The Challenge Awards - Winners Announced


After 4 weeks of ferocious competition, the Challenge Awards voting period closed at midnight on Sunday, and with it 21 category winners were announced.

We’ve been amazed by the efforts our nominees made in promoting their nominations and the uptake from the general public has been immense.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported the awards – it would not have been the same without your reviews and votes.

We now set our sites on an evening of celebrations at the Queen’s Club on 18th October. Attended by award winners, industry leaders and 10 prize draw winners picked from the 86,158 people who voted, this will definitely be one to remember.

Runner’s World will be writing an article on each of the winners and distributing these over the coming months – so watch that space.

But for now, here is a list of all the winners and runners up.



  1. The SimplyHealth Great North Run – 66%
  2. Virgin Money London Marathon – 14%
  3. SimplyHealth Great South Run – 6%


  1. Porsche Brooklands Colour Me Krazy 5k – 28%
  2. Chase the Sun Victoria Park – 24%
  3. The Maverick Silva Dark Oxfordshire – 24%


Wakefield Hospice 10K 2016
  1. Wakefield 10k and 1k Mini Run – 37%
  2. SimplyHealth Great North 10k – 31%
  3. Run Tatton Half Marathon & 10k – 13%


  1. The Hadleigh Legacy 10k – 35%
  2. Weybridge 10k – 33%
  3. The Maverick Silva Dark Oxfordshire – 11%


  1. Essar Four Villages Half Marathon – 25%
  2. Leamington Spa Half Marathon – 16%
  3. Run Tatton Half Marathon & 10k – 16%


  1. Wokingham Half Marathon – 32%
  2. Surrey Half Marathon – 29% –
  3. Victoria Park 5k, 10k & Half – 13%


  1. Cybi Coastal Marathon – 49%
  2. Giants Head Marathon – 33% –
  3. Maverick x TRIBE Run Free Marathon – 8%


  1. Mizuno Endure24 Reading – 30%
  2. Dixons Carphone Race to the Stones – 29%
  3. Mizuno Endure24 Leeds – 21%


  1. The London Triathlon – 51%
  2. Blenheim Palace Triathlon – 23% –
  3. The Islander – Middle Distance Triathlon – 14%


  1. The Flat 100 – 41%
  2. Etape Caledonia – 24%
  3. Tour De Shane – The Pembrokeshire Sportive – 16%


  1. Zeus Summer Obstacle Run – 55%
  2. MacTuff – 33%
  3. Rough Runner – Oxfordshire – 2%


  1. The Great Run Company – 29%
  2. Sportive HQ – 29%
  3. Maverick Race – 12%



  1. Great Ethiopian Run International 10K – 56%
  2. San Diego Beach and Bay Half Marathon, 10k, 5k – 24%
  3. Bay Bridge Half – 10%


  1. Terrain Race – Irvine – 62%
  2. Stadium Blitz – Houston – 18%
  3. Green Beret Challenge – Commando – 8%


  1. The Transcontinental Race – 47%
  2. Pedaled Silk Road Mountain Race – 24%
  3. Haute Route Alps – 13%


  1. Herbalife24 Los Angeles – 46%
  2. Alpe d’Huez Triathlon – 25%
  3. Austria eXtreme Triathlon – 18%



  1. Lucy Bartholomew – 23%
  2. Girls Who Dare – 21%
  3. Lucy Charles – 11%


  1. Millan Ludena – 34%
  2. Tim Don – 23%
  3. Russell Cook – 12%


  1. The Running Charity – 33%
  2. Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity – 27%
  3. Spinal Research – 12%


  1. Children with Cancer UK – 22%
  2. Teenage Cancer Trust – 19%
  3. Macmillan Cancer Support – 14%


  1. Mikkeller Running Club – 35%
  2. November Project – 29%
  3. Midnight Runners – 8%


We can’t wait to celebrate these inspirational winners and present their prizes at the inaugural Challenge Awards on 18th October at the Queens Club. Stepping outside your comfort zone is never easy, but we hope the Challenge Awards has helped you see that there really are no limits.

Anyone can race and anyone can be a hero, so discover your next race and be the next inspiration. If you’re looking for the UK’s best 10ks, half marathons or any other distance, as long as it has a finish line, you’ll find it on our new events listing page.

Inspiration. Delivered.

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