Athletics News

Podium Festival can help change UK’s athletics landscape

Podium Festival can help change UK's athletics landscape

The Podium Festival was one of few meets in the UK to attract both elite athletes and focus on fan engagement

This past weekend, I covered the Podium Festival (March 16) at New College in Leicester and one moment stood out.

Around half-way through the event – which started at 12pm and finished around 8pm – I was approached by someone who told me they’d watched a couple of the videos we’d posted on AW‘s socials earlier on in the day and had driven up from London to Leicester to watch the action unfold.

Those clips in question were behind the scenes recordings of the festival itself, including the finish line and a stage for bands/artists/DJs to perform on.

The fact that someone had viewed those clips and thought it’d be a good idea to make the 100 mile plus distance journey from London to Leicester at the drop of a hat, spoke volumes of what Podium Festival organiser and Podium 5k founder Chris Barnes was trying to achieve.

Podium 5k was created back in 2014 with the philosophy of ‘putting the athlete first’. Over more than 50 non-profit races for affiliated and non-affiliated athletes have since occurred in the past decade.

Last year, acquired Podium 5k and the first event that took place after that announcement was ‘Breaking 10’, which saw Emile Cairess run 45:57 and smash Richard Nerurkar’s European 10-mile record of 46:02.

The ultimate aim of the Podium 5k series is to provide athletes the best possible chance to break records, set personal bests and reward them with enticing prize money. However, there is also a significant emphasis on fan engagement and that’s what is most striking.

Fans lined the barriers of the Podium Festival. Coaches, club members and the friends/family of those running helped create a visceral atmosphere, with those both watching and racing yards away from each other.

As a fan, you could literally go and grab a pizza, watch both the racing and a live band simultaneously, before going to try out some of the latest shoes from some of the biggest global brands. Podium Festival…

CLICK HERE to Read the Full Original Article at AW…