Running Industry Alliance (RIA) has announced that RIA and Ronhill will be hosting an evening in memory of Ron Hill MBE at The Running Conference held at Loughborough University this September.
Taking place on Monday 12th September, the evening event will celebrate and honour the life and the achievements of Ron Hill with a showcase of a private collection of memorabilia, both physical and photographic, with items of Ron’s that may never have been seen before.
The evening meal will be in memory of Ron Hill featuring an outdoor fish and chip shop serving fish, chips and mushy peas (with all dietary requirements catered for), one of Ron Hill’s favourite weekly meals since the age of ten that he used to call “my Alf Tupper” dinner.
The Running Conference attendees will also be offered a unique Ron Hill Memorabilia technical t-shirt in exchange for a charity donation. The special edition technical t-shirt will feature a print by artist and painter Brian Donnelly, based on an iconic photo taken at the 1970 British Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh where Ron Hill won the Marathon in 2:09:28.
Brian, who was a young boy at the time and feet away from Ron Hill breasting the tape on trackside when his running icon won the Marathon, has recreated the photo into a one-off original oil painting that will be offered as a prize in a raffle on the night to raise valuable funds for charity. The unique print will also feature on the 200 Ronhill technical t-shirts especially commissioned by Ronhill for the Memory Lane Evening.
Dr Ron Hill MBE (1938 – 2021) founded Ronhill in September 1970, five months after becoming the first Briton to win the Boston Marathon in a record time of 2:10:30. Ron became the second man to break 2:10 in the marathon, laid claim to the marathon world record and ran two Olympic Marathons to name just some of his many outstanding running achievements.
Through his life as a world class distance runner and with a PhD in textile chemistry, Ron developed the Split Racer Short and Mesh Vest, inspiring a new wave of design in running clothing. Ron was also well known for running every day for 52 years and 39 days, celebrating 50 years of not missing a day’s running with a world record recognition in 2014.
Graham Richards, Managing Director at Ronhill and Hilly commented: “I had known Ron and his family personally for many decades, and I actually beat him in a race in July 1980! At Ronhill we are immensely proud of our founder and of his legacy. His lifelong passion of running and improvement is shared within the team and products we produce today, and he was one of the all-time greatest marathon runners. With 52 years of retrospect, Ronhill has benefited from the experiential learning and change that has occurred within running, from its sporting roots to a lifestyle and universal culture.
“We are looking forward to hosting this evening and to sharing some of our memories with our peers from the running industry at The Running Conference, something we missed being able to do after the sad passing of Ron in 2021.”
Co-Lead Rebecca Richardson from RIA said: “We have been working closely with Ronhill and we are honoured to have such a special evening taking place at The Running Conference. Ron Hill MBE was well-known and much loved and respected within the running community and beyond, and this will be the perfect way to celebrate his life and achievements. I met Dr Ron personally and worked with him on many occasions over the years, and I have many fond memories. He always made me smile and was the perfect gentleman, always staying true to his roots.”
Co-Lead Jonathan Midwood from RIA added: “This is an amazing chance to all get together and celebrate Ron’s life and achievements at a perfect venue and evening. We are sure the sun will be shining down as we eat fish & chips and travel down memory lane, sharing stories and fond memories of such a great running icon.”
Running Industry Alliance (RIA) is a National Trade Organisation built for the UK & Ireland Running Industry with the aim to collectively help its Members to drive the Running Industry forward to improve the Sport and Business of Running.
The members-only The Running Conference takes place at Loughborough University from 11th – 13th September 2022 and is capped at a maximum of 250 attendees for 2022 with members from the various sectors of the running industry. RIA membership applications are open throughout the year.
The theme of The Running Conference is “Impactful Collaborations” with a focus around connecting, supporting, educating, sharing, amplifying and growing.