COVID-19 update

Covid-19 Contingency Actions for Kew Gardens 10K

We are making hundreds of changes to make this years event safe and so it follows the latest government and UK Athletics Guidance (specifically concerning covid-19).

Please read below carefully to familiarise yourself with the changes. For an easy visual on the basics you can click the image to download a PDF.

Significantly Reduced Capacity

Following consultation with Manchester Metropolitan University (the world’s leading university in crowd science), we have reduced our 10K capacity by a third and planned the event based on the flow of crowd movement before, during and after the event (all socially distanced). 

Brand New Linear Course

Our new course has been designed to separate our start and finish line and provide maximum width on the course.

No Spectators

The race will take place fully inside the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew where we are fully in charge of the attendance. Sadly, no spectators allowed in Kew Gardens (spectators can join runners inside Kew after the event). 


We have redesigned the event layout so that this is a throughput of people and runners are not held as a mass gathering. Sadly, this also means no music stage or entertainment (including food/drink vendors) that might cause congestion. 

Track and Trace System 

Each runner entered into the event has given us their contact information. Due to the timing system, the details we collect from every participant and the allocated start times, allows us to know who each runner has been overtaken by.  

More Space & Holding Areas

We have increased the size of our event village and designed it to flow runners in the same direction and allow us to manage separate zones.

The event village will be broken down into several pre-race holding areas. Each of these areas will be monitored by staff to allow social distance capacities.

Runners will be broken down into different arrival times to reduce the number of runners in one area.

Runners will only be allowed to enter the event village 1 hour before their allocated start time. 

Additional Car & Bike Parking

Increased capacity of local car and bike parks to encourage less people to use public transport.  


Volunteers and staff will wear face masks at all times as well as gloves and protective visors where necessary.

We encourage runners to arrive with a mask and will also be given a souvenir running buff. We encourage face coverings in the race village areas but runners not have to wear them when running.  

All staff and volunteers will be tested with a temperature gun upon arrival.


Make use of all the many hand sanitisers available.

Medical staff will be welcoming and assessing runners as they enter event with temperature guns and offer additional Covid-19 advice to runners. 

Staff/volunteers will be present when runners arrive to offer any COVID advice or questions you may have.

Enhanced cleaning regimes for toilet facilities will be put in place.  

Toilet amounts will be increased and separated. Socially distanced queues will be monitored for toilets, baggage, and information tent.  

Baggage will be spread over a much larger area to prevent gatherings of people.  

Event surfaces will be kept to a minimum and will undergo a vigorous cleaning regime throughout the day to kill the virus off surfaces.  


We have more waves with fewer people per wave. Each wave will be socially distanced with 4 runners crossing the start-line every 2 seconds and each wave is rolling (not a mass start). 

Water station ‘Help Yourself Only’

Water will be in bottles/cartons and are to be collected from the tables provided. No water will be handed to runners.  

We will have more tables to prevent bunching and maintain social distancing 

Runners are encouraged to bring their own water.

Rules and Social Behaviour

We will enforce new race rules that runners are only permitted to run on the left side of the course and overtake on the right if there is space to do so.  

Runners reminded not to run if they have any symptoms and also encouraged to inform the event and report their symptoms via the Government’s Trace & Trace App. 

Runners should not run with friends or in groups, staff will be enforcing this on the route. 

There will be no pacemakers.  

Social Distance Finish

Volunteers will be in place to enforce social distancing and keep everyone moving to maintain flow.  

Medals, water and goodies will be pre-packed in your finisher drawstring sports bag by staff adhering to Covid regulations and wearing gloves and masks.

No de-chipping. The timing chip is disposable this year and located on your race bib.

Additional medical tents and covid-19 specific isolation tents.  


Clear signage, floor markings, and reminders to sanitise and social distance. 

We are working closely with Richmond Upon Thames Public Health and Events team to monitor the localised Covid-19 figures. We will not put on the event without permission and unless we feel it is a safe event. 

All of the above measures do not work without the cooperation of our runners, please only come to our event if you are willing to work with us and make this a safe event. 

Please check out some of the rules that we are putting in place and the up to date government guidance from Run Britain here

Best wishes,

Tom, Jade & Sarah


To our Dear Runners,

Firstly, we’d like to thank you all for your ongoing support and your patience through this difficult time. We finally have some news which we’d like to update you on. 

We have been monitoring the ever-evolving situation around the Covid-19 pandemic and the latest government guidance day in day out and it is with great sadness that we have to announce the postponement of the Richmond Half and Full Marathon, Kids Mile, Family Mile and Sundown 5k until Spring time in 2021. 
We did everything we could, including hiring expert data analysts, to try and put on the races in a socially distanced way but unfortunately the structure of these races, with them running outside of Kew Gardens, means we cannot effectively socially distance. Our overall priority is the safety and health of our runners, volunteers, staff, contractors and the local community.
The good news is we will still be able to hold the Kew Gardens 10k on Saturday 12th AND another 10K on Sunday 13th September. These two 10K’s will have reduced numbers, will adopt a new and fully socially distanced format and takes place all inside Kew Gardens.  We are exceptionally lucky to have this beautiful venue which is a large open space, fully secluded and fully closed off from the general public. 

Options for the postponed events:

Marathon & Half Marathon runners:

1. Do nothing and be automatically transferred to the Spring event (date TBC soon)

2. Transfer to the 10k on the 12th or 13th September (you'll be refunded the price difference)

3. DEFER to September 2021

5k Runners:

1. Do nothing and be automatically transferred to the Spring event (date TBC soon)

2. Transfer to the 10k on the 12th or 13th September with your 5k entry fee going towards this

3. DEFER to September 2021

Could we please ask the 5k, Half Marathon and Full Marathon runners NOT to get in touch with us with your chosen option just yet. We will contact you again very soon. We just wanted to let you know as early as we could as many of you have started training and we know exactly how frustrating it is being left in the unknown. 

Kids and Family Mile: 

1. Do nothing and be automatically transferred into the Spring event 

Happy running and stay safe.

Best wishes,
Tom, Jade & Sarah 


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