On Saturday, hundreds of King’s students and staff took to the streets to participate in the second annual Great King’s Run.
The GKR is a community running event organised by King’s Athletics, King’s Sport, and KCL Raising and Giving (RAG). Runners were able to partake in either a 5km, 10km, or a 5km Colour Run along a beautiful Thames-side route. Runners weaved through Borough Market, sped along the South Bank and passed by the amazing heights of the Shard.
The partnership established between the three organising societies proved to be mutually beneficial, as it allowed for KCL RAG to grow their pre-existing Colour Run event by combining it with King’s Athletics and King’s Sport annual Great King’s Run event.
Moreover, this partnership allowed King’s Athletics and King’s Sport to use their shared passion of inclusive running for all abilities to benefit a fantastic cause. Event proceeds will be donated to Penguins Against Cancer, Mind for Better Mental Health and Action Against Hunger.
Following the inaugural GKR in 2016, both King’s Athletics and King’s Sport were looking to expand on the success of the event. A new partnership was formed between the two sport societies and King’s RAG, the school’s largest student fundraising organisation. Together, the three groups worked tirelessly for three months to ensure that the second GKR lived up to the achievement of its predecessor. This year, the event attracted 300 participants, including 30 teams comprised of members of other KCL societies and clubs as well as groups of friends.
As the registration area in the Great Hall began to empty of participants as they flocked to the starting line, Roar spoke with Vinay Taylor, President of King’s RAG, alongside Alyx Murray-Jackson, key organiser from King’s Sport and Harry Browning, President of King’s Athletics. They all hinted at the possibility of another GKR taking place, even as soon as the Spring of this academic year!
The collaboration between the groups started out as a marriage of convenience, in order to combine the GKR and the Colour Run, but soon enough, the success they found by organising this event together, opened up the possibility for organising events in conjunction with one another. Murray-Jackson explained that the partnership between the three groups made sense and would hopefully foster more sporting days.
Indeed, Taylor went on to state that King’s RAG has a “big interest” in organising similar events in the future.
“King’s Athletics is thrilled that the event sold out so fast and is keen to host a summer GKR. I hope bigger and better events are organised in the future.” Browning told Roar.
He went on to add that he hoped more people would get involved in King’s Athletics social running events, such as Outrun the Black Dog, a mental health awareness run open to all London University students taking place on October 23rd.
Soon enough, participants began filtering back onto campus after having crossed the finish line. Though they were tired and significantly sweatier than they had been just thirty odd minutes before, it was difficult to find a runner who didn’t have a smile on their face!
It was clear that all the hard work put in by the 48 volunteers that orchestrated the run had truly paid off. “Well done to everyone who organised the event,” Alex Bloom-Davis, second-place finisher of the 10km said, “The course was great and I’d like to thank the organisers for their great work.”
The winner of the 10km race was Frederik Hansen, who finished with an impressive time of 0:47:59.
“For the first lap of the course, morale remained high,” he stated, “But later on, I found the energy to pull away from the group once it came to the second lap.”
He also expressed that he would certainly be interested in partaking in another GKR. And who knows? He may just clinch the first place title for the second time running.
It seems that thanks to the strength of collaboration between King’s RAG, King’s Athletics and King’s Sport, the KCL community can look forward to many more fantastic athletic events in the near future.