RW Personal Best Awards - The Winners

Chosen by you and rewarded by us - we celebrate the products and services that help make running great

Posted: 21 June 2007

The 2007 Personal Best Awards marked a new venture for Runner’s World but one that was long overdue – an annual celebration of all the best things in running. Our aim when founding the Awards was to recognise and reward the products and services runners find most valuable, and to ensure that the people who cast the votes were those who were actually using the products.

In February’s issue of RW we asked you, the readers of the magazine and the users of, for your favourite brand or product across eight running-related categories: food and drink, shopping, charity, brands and campaigns, shoes, gear, health and events. To avoid influencing the vote in any way there were no shortlists or suggestions – it was a completely open vote in each case. The winner of each individual award was simply the product, event or company that received the highest number of votes.

Thousands of your votes were counted to give us the winners of 28 individual awards and six elite categories. The elite awards were then presented to the winners at a glittering prize-giving ceremony in London a few days before the Flora London Marathon in April, attended by 10 RW readers who had won tickets in the draw for everyone who voted.

So without further ado, as they say at awards ceremonies, here are the Personal Best Awards as chosen by you, the RW community.


Lucozade Sport

For distance runners, two of the key factors affecting endurance are the depletion of the body’s muscle energy stores and fluid loss through sweating. Using a carefully selected balance of carbohydrates and electrolytes, Lucozade Sport is designed to address both problems. In tests it has been shown to improve sporting performance by 33 per cent and, if used regularly, can be a runner’s best insurance policy against dehydration, energy depletion and poor recovery.

Highly Commended Bassett's Jelly Babies

Asics GT-2120

Always pushing the boundaries of technology, Asics has a corporate running history that spans almost 60 years. For some time it has been the brand of choice for serious runners and variations of the 2120 have been its flagship shoe from the day it was launched in 1997. The latest edition is lighter than its predecessor but retains that blend of cushioning and stability and the snug, supportive fit that have made it the best and most popular shoe on the market for nearly a decade.

Highly Commended Nike Air Pegasus


Sweatshop started out as a single retail store in Teddington in 1971 but has grown into the largest chain of specialist running shops with 26 outlets across the country. Sweatshop prides itself on the breadth and quality of its product selection, but its desire to embrace technology and hire staff from sporting backgrounds has made it a must-go destination for all runners. The shops are complemented by successful mail order and web businesses, and the wider company also finds time to organise half-marathons in Reading and Nottingham.

Highly Commended JJB Sports

Flora London Marathon

Referring to the Flora London Marathon as just a race is doing it a disservice. It’s a national institution. Since it started in 1981 almost 600,000 people have completed it and every year record numbers apply to join them to run from Greenwich to The Mall. The race has helped to make London the world capital of marathon running as well as creating a charity fund-raising vehicle that is now the nation’s most successful single event. Last year alone runners in the race raised more than £40 million for charity, and it’s estimated that the event has helped to raise £315 million in its 26-year history.

Highly Commended ING New York City Marathon

Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK has single-handedly reshaped the landscape of the running market. Its Race for Life 5K series has introduced millions of women to the sport, and has raised the bar of what a fund-raising event can achieve. What started as a single event in Battersea Park in 1994, last year attracted more than 700,000 women to more than 200 events, and raised more than £50 million for research into cancer. Cancer Research UK has also launched a successful 10K programme and continues to work closely with teams of runners and fundraisers at major running events across the country.

Highly Commended Macmillan Cancer Support


While Nike has grown into the largest sportswear business in the world, it was originally founded by runners and has stayed loyal to its roots. It has developed pioneering technology in footwear, apparel and gear but still prides itself on being “for runners, by runners, created by people who understand the hearts, minds and bodies of runners”. Whether you want to put your iPod in tune with your pace, choose a personalised running shoe in your favourite colour combination or participate in its Run London 10K, Nike continues to stand out from the crowd.

Highly Commended Asics



Performance Shoe
Winner Asics Gel DS trainer
What you said about it "A top-class running shoe – light, comfortable, highly recommended." "PB-breakers for your feet! Asics have come up trumps with the DS trainer."
Highly Commended Nike Air Zoom Elite

Trail Shoe
Winner Inov-8 Mudroc
What you said about it "Serious fell-shoes with excellent grip." "I’ve never worn shoes that were better for feeling the ground."
Highly Commended Salomon XA Pro

Cushioned Shoe
Winner Nike Air Pegasus
What you said about it "The Nike shoe that has said it all for years." "Even the sports shop said once you’ve had the Pegasus you probably wouldn’t want to try another!"
Highly Commended Asics Gel Nimbus

Stability Shoe
Winner Asics GT-2120
What you said about it "The lightest stability shoe around, it gives a fast-feeling, smooth ride." "Good-looking, bouncy, beautiful heel-to-toe transition, a shoe of the highest order."
Highly Commended Asics Gel Kayano

Motion Control Shoe
Winner Brooks Beast
What you said about it "Superb support shoe – does what it says on the tin." "These shoes are, in my experience, number one for severe overpronators."
Highly Commended adidas Supernova Control


Advertising Campaign
Winner Nike
Highly Commended Reebok


Running Stroller
Winner Baby Jogger
Highly Commended Mountain Buggy

Winner Nike
Highly Commended Ronhill

Training Device
Winner Garmin Forerunner 305
Highly Commended Garmin Forerunner 205

Winner Timex Ironman 50
Highly Commended Nike Triax

Winner Camelbak Flashflo
Highly Commended Runaid Bottle

Sports Bra
Winner Shock Absorber
Highly Commended Marks and Spencer

MP3 player
Winner iPod Nano
Highly Commended iPod Shuffle


Winner Tesco
Highly Commended Sainsburys

Online Retailer
Highly Commended

High Street Retailer
Winner JJB Sports
Highly Commended John Lewis

Specialist Retailer
Winner Sweatshop
Highly Commended Up & Running


Bottled Water
Winner Evian
Highly Commended Vittel

Low-fat Snack
Winner Muller Light Yoghurt
Highly Commended Soreen Malt Loaf

Running Sweet
Winner Bassett’s Jelly Babies
Highly Commended Mars Bar

Sports Drink
Winner Lucozade Sport
Highly Commended SIS PSP 22

Breakfast Cereal
Winner Weetabix
Highly Commended Quaker Oats

Energy Product
Winner SIS GO Gel
Highly Commended Lucozade Sport Carbo Gel


Health Insurance
Winner BUPA
Highly Commended AXA PPP

Pain Relief Product
Winner Nurofen
Highly Commended Deep Heat


International Marathon
Winner ING New York City Marathon
Highly Commended Marathon de Paris

UK Event
Winner Flora London Marathon
Highly Commended BUPA Great North Run

UK Small Event (under 5,000 runners)
Winner Bushy Park 5K Time Trial
Highly Commended Abingdon Marathon

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Discuss this article

I see FLM is there again even though it doesn't make the top ten in runners event polls. Its a hell of an event but it isn't the best by any means. However Runner's world would be out of business without it so I'm not suprise the editorial awards a sqewed.
Posted: 22/06/2007 at 13:55

a sqewed?

Posted: 22/06/2007 at 13:56

Most runners I know don't really like Lucozade Sport whilst running, they say it's too strongly flavoured to drink comfortably. And a lot of the runners on the London Marathon seem to think the same when we try to give it to them at the drink station during the race! The lemon flavour is more palatable, but not available in the pouches it would appear. Personally I like High 5 citrus.
Posted: 22/06/2007 at 14:08

I like Lucozade but I gather I'm in the minority. As regards the FLM - it is the one race in the UK that most people want to do - just look at how ever subscribed it is.
Posted: 22/06/2007 at 14:25

Hi all,

The RW Personal Best Award winners were voted for purely by the readers of the magazine and users of the website. We had no influence on winners at all.

Posted: 22/06/2007 at 14:45

I suppose the amount of volume of people who want to get in this race make it a "gimme" as far as winning the award is concerned.
Posted: 22/06/2007 at 18:03

It just appears to me the readers of just the magazine have a different take than the website's community. I was looking at the nike air pegassis which seems to have a low rating on the forum.
Posted: 22/06/2007 at 18:30

Few points before I go out.

Nike winning? Most peeps on here are anti nike for running wear. I know some running shops won't sell it.

cat for bottled water? water is water in a bottle. Or does one brand have slightly more sodium?

health insurance..........i work in the industry. BUPA! BUPA are a f8cking expensive lot more better specialised companys out there. anyone from bupa want to argue the point i will do it.

will post a more indepth and coherant argument later or tomorrow.
Posted: 22/06/2007 at 18:40

Perhaps the magazine is read by a greater proportion of beginners? At least, increasingly of late that seems to be the target audience the magazine is aimed at.
Posted: 22/06/2007 at 18:44

Tri - I didn't know some shops refuse to sell Nike running gear. I like Nike's Sphere Dry running kit - but the Dri-fit stuff just has an odour once it has been worn a few times despite repeated washing at higher than recommended temperature.
Posted: 22/06/2007 at 18:53

Have only just seen this.

Pretty amazing choices.

Lucozade Sport? Mars Bars? Nike? Great North Run? JJB Sports?


You have to question the validity of some of these categories: Best Health Insurance? Won't people just put down the one their company subscribes to? (If they have any at all). I can't imagine people saying. "Yes, I've tried out six different health insurers this year, and found that BUPA just edged it."

Even shoes, some to that. Don't people just vote the shoes they use?

I don't want to be too disparaging because excellence should be acknowledged, but I just wonder about things like votes on "best international marathon". We all know that NY and Paris are probably the ones attended by most Brits so it shouldn't be a surprise that they get voted as 1 and 2. Surely only people who've done at least 20 or 30 of the top ones can really compare?

Bah. I'm getting more curmudgeonly as I get older.

But well done Mars Bar and Lucozade Sport and Nike and JJB Sports and Great North Run. We all know how highly you are regarded by most runners on these forums.
Posted: 22/06/2007 at 19:06

GNR and FLM would have got the most votes because of their size, so no surprises there.

Lucozade, Mars Bars and Red Bull are the mainstays of my diet - so I'm not going to complain too much about those either ;-).

RC I agree with you about Paris/New York.

Shoes I voted for the ones that I wear, they're also my favourites because I don't get blisters etc.

JJB well I did buy some running shoes from there last year, but I knew EXACTLY what I was buying, but I normally use the local running shop.
Posted: 23/06/2007 at 00:31

you old curmudgeon you;)

I suppose i should have voted really
Saucony didnt even get a mention
Posted: 23/06/2007 at 11:43

Personally I like the new raspberry lucozade sport but again it's only sold in bottles not pouches.
Posted: 23/06/2007 at 21:57

In truth I don't mind the Lucozade Sport powder too much. It seems much less sweet and confected than the bottles/pouches.
Posted: 23/06/2007 at 22:54

you fecking WIMP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


tee hee
Posted: 23/06/2007 at 22:57

Pretty obvious really - the big events will win due to their numbers, and as Lucozade do a lot of sponsoring they will do well too.
I'm fine with it for FLM as its free and available, but its not my choice elsewhere.

Posted: 23/06/2007 at 23:09

As soon as I saw this artical I thought RW was putting themselves between a rock and a hard place. There are millions of runners and I doubt if any two of us would choose the same.
Posted: 25/06/2007 at 19:13

I know PH, but I was just trying to creep a bit after my earlier attack of curmudgeonliness. I'm a SIS or Clif Shot man myself.

Posted: 25/06/2007 at 19:31

I like Nike stuff, particularly shoes. And my 5 year old dri-fit tights just won't die.

You can keep Lucozade though, and I wouldn't do London cos it's too big, and I wouldn't go to JJB cos it's chav HQ.

But, I lurve Mars bars.
Posted: 25/06/2007 at 21:26

I'm sure you're right Ironwolf, when you say that Berlin is a great marathon. I'd love to do it one year. But have you done London and NY to be able to compare? This is my point.

Of the 3, I've only run London, and have done only 5 different marathons in total, so I really couldn't make a judgement on which is the best mara in the world, or whatever the question was. I could definitely make a judgement on the best experience I had (in my case, Chicago). I just get a bit annoyed with this sort of question because unless you've done a few dozen of the world's best-known marathons, I can't see how we can be expected to compare them.

I suppose it's a bit like football fans talking about 'the best match ever'. It's all pretty pointless, but it's hard to avoid doing.

The funny thing is, if I did my 5 marathons again over the next couple of years, I bet I would totally change my order of preference. It depends on so many things -- fitness, weather on the day, satisfaction with your performance, the people you met during race weekend, and so on.

Posted: 25/06/2007 at 21:48

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