2 months to go: Behind the scenes

With just two months to go until the Cancer Research UK London Winter Run, we thought we would share some of the work going on behind the scenes to create the UK’s biggest running event this winter. Although we only get to spend one day a year with you (sob), there are months of planning and work behind the scenes that go into putting on an event of this scale. Here’s how things are progressing ahead of Sunday 4th February…

Fun on the route

Turning the streets of the capital into a winter celebration is a big task, involving hundreds of costumes, miles of branding and recruiting an army of volunteers to help out. We’ve given all our winter creatures a much needed clean and spruce up so they look suitably ‘cool’ for event day, and re-counted thousands of winter themed bits and bobs that will need to be scattered around the course in relevant places.

Our giant inflatable polar bears, huskies and penguins were pumped up to full size last week in our warehouse, to ensure our hopes of showing them off weren’t punctured on event day. We welcomed some fantastic musicians along to our 2017 event, which we know are a favourite on the route, so we’ve been looking to see how we can make our 2018 course the most tuneful yet!

We’ve also been planning some extra new surprises for event day, considering a huge range of options – including investigating the feasibility of bringing a famous penguin down from Edinburgh Zoo (spoiler – you can’t)!  We’re hoping to announce our exciting new features very soon, but working with so many stakeholders it takes a while… keep an eye on our website and social media for updates.

The streets are ours!

It’s a real privilege to take over one of the world’s greatest cities for the day, but closing the streets takes a lot of hard work. Buses need to be re-routed, diversions put in place, and hundreds of local residents (including a certain Mrs May at Number 10) informed.

Our operations team meet with the local councils, emergency services and other stakeholders to make sure everything runs smoothly behind the scenes. Every eventuality is planned for and the route is painstakingly walked dozens of times to make sure every one of the 10,000 metres is checked and the course is measured during the process.


We love seeing so many people wearing their Cancer Research UK Winter Run Series gear with pride on event day and long after. We get a buzz of pride when we turn up at our local parkrun and see our distinctive stuff.

This year we’ve decided we’re going to up our game, and are working with the team at Scimitar Sport to bring you the biggest and best range we’ve ever offered! For the first time we are offering base layers, leggings and gloves, alongside improved versions of some of our previous favourites such as t-shirts, hats and hooded tops.

To ensure the best quality options, we go through numerous versions of the designs, and test a number of samples, to make sure everything is up to the high standard you would expect. You can see the new range here.

Freezing cancer in its tracks

This year we are aiming to help Cancer Research UK raise £750,000 to support their crucial work. We work very closely with the team at Cancer Research UK on all aspects of the event, and with the 2018 event falling on World Cancer Day, we’re looking at extra ways to raise awareness of their work.

We’d like to say a huge thank you to everybody who has helped us so far, but we are still a long way off hitting our goal. If you’d like to find out how you can do your bit click here.

New to the team

We’d love to say a big hello to a couple of new friends who are part of the event for 2018…

World renowned Optimum Nutrition are joining us at the official partner, and they will be ensuring everybody gets a chance to try their latest products.

Magic Radio have been big supporting the event on air during November, so you might have heard their breakfast hosts Ronan (yep Keating!!) and Harriet talking about us. They will also be supplying the best upbeat tracks to be played around our event village.

Your number is up

With a record number of people entered at this stage we’ve had to plan a little further ahead to cope with the extra demand. Our team are already busy preparing the race numbers and packs that will be posted out, and the first batch of these will be dropping through letterboxes very early in 2018.

We’ve also had to order a ton (probably literally) of our gorgeous new spinning medals so such a big order has time to arrive. Our talented team spent time intricately designing each part of the new medal, and their hard work has definitely paid off. Every finisher will be awarded one when they cross the line alongside their warming polar bear hug.

Olympian joins in

Speaking of medals, we will be welcoming somebody who has a rather special one in her collection. We’re delighted that Amy Williams, who took gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics for her incredible performance in the skeleton, will be joining us on the start line at the event. She recently took some time to speak to the media about the Cancer Research UK London Winter Run, and explain how she is using it as her first major fitness challenge after becoming a mum earlier this year. Look out for an audio interview with Amy on our website soon.

Our team also recently welcomed a number of bloggers and group leaders to a special training evening in London to help spread the word about the best ways to stay fit and train in the winter. It was a lovely evening, and we hope to expand these further in the future.

Entry deadline

We’ve seen a huge increase in demand for places in our next event, and despite agreeing an extension in our capacity, we will sell out well before the event. If you have any friends, colleagues of family members who would like to join you on the start line, they have until Wednesday 6th December to grab a General Entry. If any places remain after this date, they will be put back on sale at the full final price.

Happy Christmas!

We will be dropping you a couple of emails with more information leading up to the event, but if you have any lingering issues ahead of the big day feel free to drop our team an email on info@winterrunseries.co.uk

Until then we hope you have a fantastic Christmas and excellent New Year.