Runner’s World PB Awards 2012: The Winners

The votes are in, the red carpet is out, tearful acceptance speeches have been rehearsed…now we can reveal the very best in running, as chosen by you, the UK’s runners, on runnersworld.co.uk.

Best Shoe: Asics Gel Landreth 7

Usually something of an unsung hero in the Asics range, the Landreth is a jack of all trades, suitable for supinators, neutral runners and those with mild stability needs. Bracketed by us as a high-mileage workhorse for lighter runners, it won Best Update in our Autumn 2011 Shoe Guide, with testers particularly loving the reduced weight, asymmetrical lacing and lower profile midsole amid myriad other impressive tweaks. A shoe with a lot of bang for its buck.

Best App: iMapMyRun

A perfectly executed, user-friendly piece of run-enhancing tech that stands out from the crowd in your eyes. By using GPS tracking it delivers accurate distance and pace info, and plots your route on an interactive map. Plus, you can share routes and track your running pals in real time through Facebook and Twitter. Precision training, motivation and free, too. What’s not to like?

Best Nutritional Product: For Goodness Shakes Nectar

Building on its rock-solid foundations in recovery shakes, FGS billed this as ‘the ultimate race fuel’ on its launch this year, and you seem to agree. Maybe it’s the 2:1 glucose to fructose formulation that ups the amount of energy getting into your bloodstream by 55 per cent, or the B-vitamin complex that helps to boost energy metabolism, or the five different isotonic ions. Or maybe it’s the fact that it actually tastes pretty good, too. Whatever your reason, Nectar is firmly established as a pre-run favourite.

Best New Race: Richmond Park Marathon

The RW website was buzzing with glowing feedback – the race became an instant favourite for many. A winning combination of undulating terrain in beautiful parkland and slick organisation plus a medal, T-shirt and goody bag at the finish gave this debut over 90 per cent in your overall ratings. Organisation and atmosphere clocked impressive stats too, and the good news is it looks set to become a fixture.

Best Men’s Apparel Brand: Adidas

The three stripes takes the kit award in this new category, with your votes recognising an understanding of, and commitment to, runners’ needs. Solid and reliable through the Supernova range, with high-end performance in its adiZero products, ‘adi’ consistently delivers quality fabrics to keep you well-wicked and protected from the elements, runner-specific ergonomic cuts for comfort and freedom of movement, and loads of runner-friendly features. Just what you’re after, in fact.

Best Women’s Apparel Brand: Thoosa

At the vanguard of women-specific  running gear since launching in 2004, the UK brand’s consistent combination of style and substance has won top spot in your affections, scooping our other new-
for-2012 award. Founded on a passion for running and a desire to meet real runners’ needs, Thoosa has stayed true to its   vision with elegant simplicity, quality and women-specific features always to the  fore. Thoosa, in case you were wondering, was a nymph who personified swiftness in Greek mythology.

Best Gadget: Garmin 610

The Forerunner series has set the standard since the first model launched way back in 2003, but in an ever more competitive category, Garmin couldn’t afford to stand still. And it hasn’t.  Your votes recognise the   610 – which also scooped our Editor’s Choice in the January issue – as another great leap forward. Crammed with features, but even more user-friendly with its intuitive out-of-the-box functionality, this is a pretty much flawless offering that has left you wearing your hearts firmly on your wrists.

Best Retailer: Sweatshop

Six of the best from Sweatshop, as it retains the crown from last year to make it an amazing six years on the trot as your favourite specialist  running retailer. So what’s the magic formula? It’s simple really: a comprehensive range of quality running products coupled with highly trained staff who will listen to your specific needs and guide you to the kit that perfectly matches them. 

Most Improved Race: Barns Green Half Marathon

The West Sussex event has been part of the race calendar since 1982, so it was great to see a jump in your satisfaction ratings. Not that it ever scored badly, but with 96 per cent of runners saying they would do it again after last time out, the organisers have obviously ironed out any minor flaws. Some undulation means PB-hunters need not apply, but it scored big on scenery and organisation, with special focus on ‘superb’ marshalling and great local support. All the more impressive considering it rained this year.