Gifts for Runners
Welcome to our ‘support small running business’ Christmas gift guide 2020!
We wanted to showcase products made by people like us - runners striving to share our love for the sport through a creative outlet, in the hopes that they’ll appeal to others in our community.
2020 has hit small businesses hard so here’s a selection of indie running entrepeneurs that we hope you’ll consider when choosing gifts for runners for the festive season and beyond!
Husband and wife team, Simon and Julie, launched their magazine in February 2014 and we’ve been fans since day one. Veering away from the usual run-mag tropes about training programmes, getting faster, abs and gear, Like the Wind delves deeper by collecting stories from real people who run; their trials, triumphs and tribulations. In their words ‘It’s not how to run, it’s why we run’.
Alongside the wonderful running tales, the pages are adorned with artwork contributed by illustrators and photographers. The magazine is published on satisfyingly high quality and ethically sourced paper.
You can buy individual copies of the magazines which would make a great stocking filler but it’s the subscriptions which are the gift that keep on giving.
In 2018, having spotted a gap in the market for running skirts, Gin decided to combine her love of running and sewing to produce high quality, handmade garments. She has since expanded her product range to include items such as headbands, arm sleeves and waist belts. Gin also takes commissions to repurpose old running tee shirts into ponchos, running shirts, bags and even teddy bears!
Every item is hand made by Gin, who has been running for 20 years and is a member of the 100 Marathon Club, completed over both marathon and ultramarathon distances.
Helen Wyatt, a mother, an ultra-runner and business owner had always enjoyed the benefits of exercise and used the gym regularly to do strength training which compliments her great love of running. After the first lockdown was announced, Helen was determined to keep training as usual, so began to consider what she could use at home to keep up with the momentum and consistency of her training. A box like the one she used regularly at the gym would be perfect.
With the pandemic forcing manufacturers to close, Helen was unable to source an affordable box online, but in a lightbulb moment of inspiration she enlisted the help of her furniture-maker husband to build her a box in his workshop. When Helen’s friends saw her Fitt-BOX they asked if they could place orders for themselves and the product grew in popularity and gained more fans, including GB marathon runner Helen Davies!
Fitt-BOX is a great product for working out at home and using to boost your running through strength and conditioning exercise, and you don’t need to be an elite athlete to benefit from it. Team the box with resistance bands and kettlebells and it’s quite simply, a brilliant solution for home workouts.
For those who have not attempted to run 100 miles in one go it could seem like the ultimate running achievement, mind boggling in terms of physical and mental strength. Distance aside, imagine also having a global pandemic causing uncertainty as to whether or not the race you’ve dedicated months of hard graft training for will even go ahead. Then the relief that the race organiser has pulled out all the stops to make sure it does only to find yourself in the midst of a heatwave. That’s the situation Gareth Price found himself in for this year.
Duel with the North Downs is a first-hand account of Centurion Running’s North Downs Way 100 mile race in August 2020, one of the hottest ultras ever held in the UK. It’s about trying to cope with uncertainty and hang in there when everything unravels - when the pandemic scuppers your plans, a mysterious injury comes out of nowhere, and a record breaking heatwave rolls in for the day of the race. And it’s about the kindness of other people and how this can mean the difference between success and failure …
All the author's proceeds go to London Youth - registered charity no. 303324 - http://londonyouth.org
Sometimes it's nice to 'do' instead of to 'have'.
In 2015 Vanessa decided to combine her passion for running, history and London and set up Secret London Runs, offering informative guided running tours of the city. Secret London Runs offered sightseeing and themed running tours with special London art editions for something extra special. In the event of the current health crisis, Vanessa and her small team have adjusted the group and set up virtual running challenges to help keep runners inspired and motivated to stay active, with the added incentive of medals and prizes.
There are a couple of special Christmas themed events over the festive season.
The Running Works is an independent family owned running shop based in London. Their underground store is the biggest indie running space in London and, pre-COVID, offered their community great extras including physio suites, a coffee shop and free running groups.
Being an indie they are not tied to any brand and commit to offering customers the advice that best compliments their individual running goals and needs. Though a small company, they offer a great selection of running shoes, clothes and accessories.