The University of Bristol Run Series is a community and wellbeing focused virtual event. Through this event we are encouraging staff, students, alumni and people of Bristol to re-connect with one another over a common goal – be that 5k, 10k a Half Marathon (or all three!) – with the aim of bettering our physical and mental health during a time of anxiety, uncertainty and isolation.
Our ‘Faces of the Run Series’ blog posts will shine a light on individuals who have signed up to one, or more, of our virtual events and ask them to share what brought them to our virtual community this year! Through this blog series, we hope to introduce you to your fellow runners by putting a face to the Facebook profile, email address or Strava user we’ve only had the opportunity to ‘meet’ in 2D so far!
Name: Roy Kiruri Staff or Student: Bristol SU Sabbatical Officer, International Students Run Series Event: Whole Series!
“I have been really struggling with motivation during these last few weeks. The Run Series provides me with an excellent opportunity to do this for me, to collect the medals, join a community and feel a part of the university again.”
Studying: Bachelor of Science, BS Childhood studies
What is your experience with running up until now?
I never used to run; I was adamant that I couldn’t do it. I used to think it would deteriorate my muscle growth. However, in the first lockdown, I purchased my first pair of running shoes. I started with a short 5k around the downs, once or twice a week as a maximum. I was very much a gym girl; cardio wasn’t my forte at all. Since the first lockdown, I have steadily increased my distance and decreased my time. So, to cut it short, I am probably an intermediate runner.
What motivated you to sign up for the run series in 2021?
I have been really struggling with motivation during these last few weeks. The run series provides me with an excellent opportunity to do something for myself, to collect the medals, join a community and feel a part of the university again.
What is your top tip for getting out the door for your training runs?
For me, I must schedule the run a few days before. I am not a spontaneous person as such, I like to mentally prepare for a run. I like to eat properly beforehand (a carby meal a few hours before). It is about doing what suits you. I also like to run in the evenings, as a break in-between studying. The sunsets are also so beautiful so it is great for the mind as well.
What are you most looking forward to about taking part in the Run Series this year?
I am most looking forward to being a part of a community again. I love to socialise and, obviously, it has been hard this year to feel connected. The run series will allow me to feel a part of a team and strive to be the best version of myself that I can be!
What is your favourite pre-run snack/food?
I love sliced banana with peanut butter on top (crunchy peanut butter, of course). Personally, it is so important that I also eat well the day before. If I eat poorly, I can’t expect a good time but again just getting out and running is so much better than not doing anything. Do this for you.
There is still time to sign up for the first Run Series event, the virtual 5k, this weekend (20-21 March). For more information, and to sign up, visit the Run Series website.
Our second Face of the Run Series is this year’s elected Sports and Student Development Officer, Rushab Shah. Rushab has been at home in Nairobi, Kenya since Christmas, which is where he will be running the Run Series virtual 5k on the weekend of 20-21 March.
Did you know that the Sport, Exercise and Health Division at the University of Bristol has more to offer than just competitive sport? We know that Sport isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so here are 10 ways that you can get involved in active life at Bristol, without a referee or score-board in sight!
1. The Gym
The University of Bristol gym is located in the Indoor Sports Centre on Tyndall Avenue – right in the heart of campus. There is a range of cardio machines and an extensive free-weights zone, as well as a functional fitness and stretching areas located over two floors. Whatever your health and fitness goal, you’ll find everything you need.
2. Fitness classes
In the same building as the Gym, we have a number of fitness studios which are home to our gym-based fitness classes. We have over 100 in-person and virtual classes to choose from every week from ZUMBA and Aerobics, to Hatha Yoga and HIIT Pilates. As a Les Mills partner, you can join instructor-led and virtual classes from their popular catalogue including GRIT, RPM, Body Balance and Body Balance. Get unlimited access to classes with a membership, or PAYG for your favourite.
B:Active is our non-competitive, low-cost and beginner-friendly fitness and activity programme exclusive for students. Split across two timetables, B:Active Campus and B:Active Residences, you can take part in as many classes as you like each week, no commitment needed.
The University of Bristol Swimming Pool is located in the basement of the Richmond Building (Bristol SU building) and has over 100 hours available per week for casual and/or lane swimming. The Pool has six lanes, at full length is 32 meters long, and is 3.8m at it’s deepest point. If you’re looking for a low-impact, full-body conditioning activity, swimming might be the one for you!
5. Treat an injury
If you’re finding yourself sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day, or you’re suffering an existing injury that’s keeping you from your favourite activity, get in touch with our Sports Medicine Clinic and speak to one of our expert physiotherapists. Book yourself and 10-15 minute (virtual) initial appointment for FREE for some advice on next steps and put yourself back on the path to peak physical condition.
6. Sign up to an event
In-person or virtual, events are a great way to join our #WeAreBristol active community and feel a part of something bigger – last year we had over 700 Bristol Uni students, staff and alumni sign up to the Great Bristol 10k. Events may be looking a little different for 2020/21 but keep an eye out for virtual event opportunities coming this year!
7. Learn or develop a skill
Book yourself a coached session to boost your skills and confidence! Our Tennis Coaches, Swim Teachers and Personal Trainers all offer 1:1 or small group coaching sessions to help support you in reaching your activity goals, whether that’s learning something completely new, or building on previous experience. It’s never too late, and you’re never too old!
8. Work with us
Student Activators form a valuable part of the S.E.H Team and help us to connect with students, run events and communicate all things active online! Student Activators are paid student staff, and can be a great CV-boosting role – as well as connecting you with other like-minded students. Keep an eye out for opportunities to get involved as a Student Activator during your time at Bristol by following @bristolunibactive and @bristolunisport on social media.
As well as paid opportunities, you can learn new skills and enhance your CV by taking part in our Sport Leadership and Volunteer programme, Game Changers. The programme runs continuously throughout the year to fit flexibly around student studies, and provides students with online and in-person training and qualifications to enable them to volunteer in a range of areas, including; coaching, officiating and community outreach.
10. Have your say
Join a committee, attend Bristol SU meetings or join student networks and groups that can have an impact on shaping the student experience around Sport and Physical Activity! Could you nominate yourself for a position on the University of Bristol Sports Network? If you’d like to see something done differently, you need to get involved and have your say – check our the Bristol SU website for opportunities and who to contact!
The University is delighted to announce Briony Williams as their Ambassador for this year’s Great Bristol 10k in May.
Briony, who lives in Bristol and studied for her post-graduate qualification in teaching at the University, became a household name when she starred in the 2018 series of the Great British Bake-Off, making it all the way to the semi-finals.
Briony went on to win the 2019 edition of The Great Christmas Bake-Off, and it’s also been announced that she has joined the presenting team of Channel 4’s ‘Food Unwrapped’. As well as her TV appearances, Briony writes regularly for food magazines and features at food-festivals around the country!
So, where does running fit in? We wondered the same!
When she’s not creating masterpieces in her kitchen, Briony admits be being a keen runner. To date, she has taken on several 10k races and a couple of half-marathons, with more lined up for this year.
This year, the University Bristol 10k campaign is focusing on the benefits that running, and being more physically active in general, can bring to our mental health – something Briony is a huge advocate for.
Announcing her ambassadorship on Instagram, Briony wrote, “I’m really excited to be championing two things I care about so deeply: running and mental health”
We are thrilled that Briony will be running alongside our students, staff and alumni in the gigantic University Wave, and working with us in the lead-up to the event to encourage everyone on campus – runners and non-runners alike – to get active to support more positive physical and mental health and wellbeing at the same time as raising awareness and funds for the University’s B:Active Healthy Minds initiative.
Almost 500 students, staff and alumni has already signed up to this iconic Bristol event! Get up, get together, and get active by lacing up your trainers and joining #TeamUoBristol for this year’s Great Bristol 10k on Sunday 3 May.
Sign up for the University Wave
If you are University of Bristol staff, Student or Alumni, you can sign up to run the Great Bristol 10k with discounted entry.
Over 2,000 students and staff gathered for a fantastic finale to welcome week 2019 by taking part in our #wearebristol colour run and ‘give it a go’ sessions at coombe dingLe sports complex!
fantastic number of students came along to ‘Give It A Go’
This year, ‘Give It A Go’ sessions were available across 45 different sports and activities throughout Welcome Week. Sessions on offer included Football, Lacrosse, Hockey and Rugby, to Aikido, Bollywood Dance, Trampolining and Archery.
An incredible 1,673 students signed up to give one or more sessions a try during the final weekend, each of which was hosted by student or staff coaches across our Bristol Uni Sport sites; Coombe Dingle, the Indoor Sports Centre and the Pool.
The ‘Give It A Go’ sessions are designed to give students the opportunity to try a sport or sporting activity that they haven’t done before, and was open to all students no matter your year of study – it’s never too late to try something new!
nothing more fun that a colour run!
What is a Colour Run, you ask? A Colour Run is a fun, family friendly, all-abilities-welcome run (or walk, or jog, or skip) in which, dressed in your white #WeAreBristol t-shirt, you are splashed with coloured powder paint along the course! With six different colour stations, you’ll be sure to cross the finish line rainbowed from head-to-toe!
The event was open to new and current students, staff, alumni and their families – everyone aged four to ninety-four was welcome! We had a phenomenal 332 participants take part this year, starting with a mass-warm-up led by local health and fitness guru, Cat Taylor (who also teaches yoga on our student B:Active programme).
why get involved?
There’s no denying that getting active is good for your health and wellbeing. However, sport isn’t just about the running and scoring goals. Getting active in a group environment like the Colour Run is hugely beneficial for your social wellbeing. Its an opportunity to meet new people and have a laugh with friends, course or flat mates!
Want to get involved in our next mass participation events? There are lots of opportunities to get involved and stay active, whether you’re a super-sporty type or not!
Whether you want to get yourself a challenge, like running the Bristol 10k, or just have fun and get a bit messy, like in our Colour Run, find @BristolUniSport on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to stay up to date with new events being announced throughout the year.