Anyone who attended The National Running Show on 20-21 January could not have failed to notice a very long queue at one particular stand. It was always going to be popular, but what happened for Run Mummy Run at this innovative new show for runners is pretty phenomenal.
The Run Mummy Run stand saw founder Leanne Davies, along with her team, chat and laugh with hundreds of community members, sell exclusive Run Mummy Run merchandise and generally be of huge inspiration to any female into – or considering – running. With queues snaking through the hall back to the entrance, it was clear that many had made the trip to Birmingham’s NEC just for this, and what a moment of pride it must have been for mum-of-two Leanne as she saw what a powerful and close-knit community she had created.
Little time for reflection however with a long line of fans and a book to launch, as day one of the show saw Leanne officially launch her book, Run Mummy Run: Inspiring Women to Be Fit, Healthy and Happy, co-written with Lucy Waterlow. Over the course of the weekend, Leanne sold and signed nearly 300 copies of the book, whilst on Amazon the book continued to receive only 5-star reviews and hugely positive feedback.
“Our members have given a really positive response to it all,” confirms Leanne, still elated from the show. “Pictures of the book have been popping up all over social media. Most of our members love the fact that we’ve made them part of the book too by sharing their inspirational, funny and heart-warming stories throughout. The book is very personal to them and us.”
The Run Mummy Run book encapsulates all that Run Mummy Run is about. The ethos of kindness and support shines strongly throughout, exactly as it does on the Run Mummy Run website and within the Facebook community where everything started.
The truth is that what had begun as a small Facebook group for Leanne’s friends is now the go-to support network for thousands of females up and down the country. Having recently celebrated its 5th anniversary, Run Mummy Run’s online running community for women is about to reach 55,000 members on Facebook, and is growing every day. Reaching out to female runners of all ages and abilities and supporting them on every step of their running journey, it is easy to see how it won ‘Best Online Community’ at The 2017 Running Awards and is again through to the shortlist of the 2018 Awards (voting for which is taking place here).
It seems that success at The National Running Show is just the beginning of what is set to be another fantastic year for Run Mummy Run. Yet Leanne remains as down-to-earth as ever and truly humbled by what she has achieved.
“Once we had set up the stand for the show we were excited but jittery, thinking what if no-one turns up?” admits Leanne. “How wrong we were. At 9am the doors opened and crowds of Run Mummy Run ladies headed for our stand. By 9.15am we had a huge queue – some people queued for over an hour! It was no issue for us though, as my excellent shop team served our members whilst our community team worked the queue and chatted, took pictures, handed out giveaways and got people involved in our competition. The social side to our stand was excellent and everyone had such fun just being there. The beauty of our community is that people want to be involved, engage with us and have fun, and our stand at the show allowed them to do all of this.”
As for what is in the pipeline over the coming months, there is plenty for Run Mummy Run members to look forward to, from new kit to racing, supporting and fundraising. “We are in full flow with our spring/summer range for 2019,” enthuses Leanne. “Then, in April, for the third year running, we will operate our Mile 19 support crew at the Virgin Money London Marathon. The support crew gets bigger year on year as we offer sweets, slices of orange, hugs, shout outs and a shoulder to cry on. For many girls running, they say that knowing we will be there waiting for them is the lifeline that pushes them on. It’s incredibly emotional and so rewarding to do this for our community – it’s run purely by a volunteer team and just says everything about our community.”
“We are delighted to once again be working with Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, a charity close to my heart. I am hoping we can fundraise as much money through their races for them as possible.”
Then, on 17-18 March, Run Mummy Run is taking a group out to OPAP Limassol Marathon GSO, where Leanne herself is running the Half Marathon race. Run Mummy Run is offering an exclusive race package for its members and it promises to be the ultimate social and sporting weekend away in a stunning race location.
“Once our exciting trip to Limassol is over we look ahead to an iconic race, The Running Festival at Goodwood in October,” concludes Leanne. “Here we have a big presence and we hope to make this a real social occasion for our members. With the Half Marathon, 10K and Family Race we know there will be something for everyone. We have the core team coming for the celebrations and there will be some real treats in store including our own Run Mummy Run wave, a meet and greet with myself and the opportunity to buy our book and have it signed. There’s so much happening so we hope people will join us – we can’t wait!”
It’s clear that Run Mummy Run is inspiring women across the UK to lace up their running shoes every day, and Leanne should be justifiably proud of all she has achieved. For further details of Run Mummy Run, go to www.runmummyrun.co.uk.
You can also like the Facebook page and follow @Run_Mummy_Run on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. To find out more about the brains behind Run Mummy Run, you can follow Leanne Davies’ personal story on Instagram at @run_mummy_run_rmr.
Run Mummy Run will be returning to The National Running Show 2019 on 19-20 January.
Photos courtesy of Ben Lumley and The National Running Show.