Personal Best Awards 2009

Best Gadget Garmin Forerunner 405

The latest version of this GPS watch was the clear winner in our speed and distance monitor test in January 2009.

It builds on the strengths of its widely respected predecessor with a sleeker design incorporating a touch-sensitive tap-and-scroll bezel. Other advances include wireless data transfer and improved GPS sensitivity, meaning it locks onto a satellite signal more quickly.

Our test concluded that it had "all the technology you could want in a user-friendly package".

Best Shoe Asics Gel Kayano 15

Asics' flagship stability shoe won the Editor's Choice award in our most recent Shoe Guide in March.

It offers an exceptional fit and superb cushioning, while the new off-centre lacing pattern that follows the contour of the foot won almost unanimous praise from our testers.

This latest shoe continued the line's impressive track record – the previous model, the Gel Kayano 14, was voted the International Editors' Choice 2008 by the staff of Runner's World's 14 worldwide editions last November.

Best Nutritional Product For Goodness Shakes

For Goodness Shakes has come a long way from its humble beginnings in a spare bedroom in Clapham in 2003.

Designed as a sports drink that provides the right ratio of protein and carbohydrate to speed post-exercise recovery, it comes as a tasty milkshake.

It's widely available, and the company is firmly committed to sport, being involved with the English Institute of Sport as well as a wide array of runners, triathletes and other sportspeople.


Best New Event Royal Parks Foundation Half-Marathon

This debut London event was blessed with perfect autumn weather, but it was the organisers who got everything else right.

Over 7,500 runners ran a landmark-lined route that weaved through London's Hyde Park, Green Park and St James's Park and past Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and down The Mall.

The 2008 race sold out in six days, while the 15,000 places for this year's event were snapped up in a matter of hours.


Most Improved Event Tunbridge Wells Half-Marathon

A thoroughly enjoyable, though hilly, gallop through some of the Garden of England's finest countryside – the 25th anniversary Tunbridge Wells Half-Marathon was the highest climber in our Readers' Races of 2008, moving up 10 places.

The race sold out an increased capacity of 1,700, a kids' mini-olympics meant the event offered something to everyone, while Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes, who started the race, added a touch of class to the proceedings.


Best Retailer Sweatshop

Founded in 1971 in Teddington, Middlesex by Olympic champion Chris Brasher, Sweatshop has grown into the largest specialist running shop in the country, with 29 branches and an online presence.

It offers a huge product range, clear advice from knowledgeable staff and the latest technology to help consumers find the right shoe.

In addition, it organises the Robin Hood Marathon and Half and the Reading Half-Marathon. Our readers have voted it their Best Retailer for the third year in succession.