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The National Running Show confirms first-class speaker timetable

The National Running Show has confirmed its first-class timetable of speakers for the inaugural show at Birmingham’s NEC on 20-21 January 2018.

Legendary British runner Dame Kelly Holmes will be officially opening this innovative new expo for runners and heading up an impressive line-up of speakers that includes Olympic gold medal winners and globe-trotting adventurers. Each will be bringing their running expertise and sharing fascinating personal stories to thrill and inspire the many thousands of runners set to attend next month.

Running legend Dame Kelly, gold medal winner in the 800m and 1500m at the 2004 Olympic Games, and British record holder in the 600, 800 and 1000 metres, will be opening The National Running Show at 9am on Saturday 20th January. She will go on to host her own talk entitled ‘Running Around in Circles’ in which she will cover how she started running, her methods for success and her Olympic journey. It promises to be a magnificent start and really set the scene for a captivating two-day programme of talks.

Joining Kelly on day one of the show will be British athlete Jenny Meadows, best known for her 800m successes and notably the gold medal at the 2011 Paris Championships. Jenny will be talking about her journey, injury prevention and how to keep going through the tough times.

The medal winners keep coming, with five-time Olympian long-distance runner Jo Pavey another must-see. Gold medallist at the 2014 Zurich European Championships in the 10,000m, Jo will be talking about balancing family and training, achievements and delayed achievements, and drugs in sport. Jo and Jenny will also then feature on an Olympic Panel alongside British former athlete Wendy Sly to discuss race planning, race management and finishing strong.

The Saturday afternoon line-up includes award-winning nutritionist, health writer and author Anita Bean, who will be talking about simple steps for daily nutrition and giving practical nutrition advice to help runners improve their performance. Anita will be followed by ‘The Godfather of Marathon Running’, Steve Edwards, one of the most successful multi marathon runners in the world today. To date, Steve has run 809 marathon races in an average time of 3 hrs 18 mins.

Endurance adventurer and motivational speaker Luke Tyburski will then be drawing on his own experiences to inspire others to dream big, get out of their comfort zone and live life. His compelling talk will be followed by another from Susie Chan, who will be giving a brilliant introduction to ultra running. There is little Susie doesn’t know about running ultras, having completed the legendary Marathon des Sables three times, won the Adventure Category at the 2017 Coastal Challenge Costa Rica and completed the World Marathon Majors.

The Saturday afternoon talks are rounded off with an Expert Panel talking about Mindset, chaired by Russell Smith and Susie Chan and including Steve Edwards, Luke Tyburski and ‘Barefoot Aleks’ Kashefi. As co-host of the inaugural show, alongside Susie Chan, Russell Smith will be a fascinating one to watch, not least because he is leading the Towpath Challenge in the days leading up to the show! Stick around for the final panel of the day, The Towpath Challenge 2018, to find out more about this incredible 5-day, 135-mile challenge.

It’s a tough act to follow, but visitors to The National Running Show on Sunday 21st January will not be disappointed. Kicking off day two will be extreme endurance athlete Sean Conway, who is the only person in history to have completed the Great British Triathlon. Sean will be talking about Endurance Adventures, his beard and much more. With similar awe-inspiring achievements, endurance athlete Jamie Ramsay will then be treating listeners to his stories about running from Vancouver to Buenos Aires, expedition planning and remaining calm.

The first female speaker of the day is Anna McNuff, who has been named by the Guardian as one of the top female adventurers of our time. Anna will be inspiring visitors by talking about overcoming a fear of failure, New Zealand’s back country Te Araroa trail and our infinite potential.

Elise Downing follows on from Anna as the youngest person and only female to have run one lap of the British coast self-supported. Elise will be hosting her own talk entitled ‘Running and Cake’ before joining Russell Smith, Sean Conway, Ira Rainey, Anna McNuff and Jenny Tough for a thrilling Adventure Panel.

The final afternoon of the show welcomes Lisa Jackson, the self-proclaimed ‘World’s Slowest Marathon Correspondent’, whose talk will be a breath of fresh air as she explains her sheer joy of running, why it’s ok to come last and personal goals. Anita Bean then makes her second appearance at the show, giving top tips on nutrition, before handing over to Ira Rainey, acclaimed author of two books. Growing up believing he was bionic, Ira talks about his journey from fat man to green man and challenging yourself.

Another good dose of inspiration follows with celebrated adventurer Danny Bent, who was recently voted one of the 100 happiest people in the UK. Danny is currently organising an 18,000-mile relay run around the world and will be talking about ‘The Happiness of Being You’.

Canadian adventurer Jenny Tough is another one not to miss. Jenny has cycled, hiked, sailed, trekked, kayaked, skied, surfed and camped across six continents, and her talk will focus on running Kyrgyzstan, what to take and planning for the worst.

‘Barefoot Aleks’ Kashefi takes over from Jenny to talk about running from Land’s End to John O’Groats barefoot, being minimalist and much more. Dan Keeley will then be talking about the highs and lows of running from Rome to Home, a 1,250-mile solo adventure to celebrate his mental health recovery, and the speaker programme is gloriously concluded with ‘The 401 Challenge’ Ben Smith. Ben talks about running 401 marathons in 401 days, his inspiration and managing injuries.

Full details about the speaker programme can be found on the What’s On page of the race website. A stellar line-up of partners and sponsors complements the speaker programme, full details for which can be found on the Sponsors & Exhibitors section of the race website.

Over 21,000 runners have registered for tickets to The National Running Show, the UK’s most exciting new event for runners. The show will see race organisers, sports retailers, sports brands, nutrition experts, official sporting bodies and communities gather under one roof like never before and is set to be a sell-out in its first year.

Mike Seaman, Director of Racoon Events, commented: “We are thrilled with the speaker line-up for The National Running Show. There is really something and someone for everyone, from Olympic medallists to global adventurers and extreme endurance athletes, who will be sharing fascinating anecdotes and revealing their top tips for us all. We are expecting the sessions to be extremely popular and hope many visitors to the show will take the time to sit down and be inspired by this incredible line-up of running heroes. It promises to be a wonderful two-day celebration of running for all involved.”

The National Running Show takes place at Birmingham’s NEC on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st January, 2018. Tickets are on sale on The National Running Show website.

Go to for further event details.

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