Olympic marathoner Steph Davis kicked off the 10k race at the annual RUNFEST in Richmond two weeks ago.
Davis, 31, returned to Kew Gardens four months after qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.
She competed in the UK Marathon Trials in March and her time of 2:27:16 secured her a spot on the GB team.
She said: “It was so much fun to be back at Kew Gardens. It brought back good memories to me and I can’t wait to run there again.
“RUNFEST has some brilliant races that I would recommend for all skill levels, and I am so happy that the races are resuming and the running community is united again. ”
Three years ago, Davis had never even run a marathon, and she was a self-proclaimed seasonal runner, training twice a week only during the summer months.
Her first marathon was the 2018 Berlin Marathon, where she clocked 2:41:16.
She attributes the victory to her training and notes how important it is for her to go at her own pace and not compare her training schedule to that of others.
She said: “The key to success is to build slowly and steadily. Do what’s right for you. “
His training plan is certainly unconventional and, unlike those of typical elite distance runners, places less emphasis on weekly mileage.
Instead, it incorporates cross-training, which typically means using the elliptical trainer and swimming twice a week in the pool.
Davis finished in the top 40 at the Olympics securing his place as top Briton with a time of 2:36:33.
She said: “The Olympic Games have been an incredible experience. COVID shook things up a bit, but I was delighted the Games were able to go! “
The Richmond RUNFEST 10K run was also attended by the Thai Ambassador and Royal Thai Embassy, who raised funds for Safe Child Thailand.
The race winners were James Bellward and Tracy Barlow, who clocked 00:32:30 and 00:35:52 respectively.
“A great day to start doing what I love again! Barlow wrote on Instagram.
Other events included the Richmond Half and Full Marathons, the Kids’ and Family Mile races and the Visit Cayman Islands Sundown 5K.
Marathon winners Dan Nash and Jemima Farley broke course records with times of 2:23:29 and 2:46:35 respectively, both winning luxury vacations to the Cayman Islands for their efforts.
This year’s two-day running festival returned to its usual format after the disruption of RUNFEST 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, welcoming more than 5,000 people.
“It was a proud moment for me and the team to welcome runners, spectators, partners and volunteers to this event after all the many challenges we had to overcome to get there,” said the race director Tom Bedford.
Along with the running events, the weekend festival featured entertainment, especially the Richmond Music Festival & Fitness Expo.
Bow Anderson, a promising artist from Edinburgh, was the star on Saturday night after 5k.
Caymanian DJ and singer King Navassa also performed on Saturday night.
Fake Tan and the Basement Door, young artists supported by the local Richmond charity, performed on Sunday.
Featured Image Credit: Steph Davis