Following on from the success of the first ever backward running race in Manchester last year, two events have been scheduled for 2011 with London being added as a venue. On Sunday, July 17, the London Backward Running Championships will take place at Crystal Palace Park. There will be 1km and 3km races for men and women.
Then on Sunday, August 14 it will be the turn of Heaton Park in Manchester, and the UK Backward Running Championships. Entrants will race around a one mile triangular course and there will be an extra race for seniors who are over 40. In both venues, there will be prizes for the fastest men and women to guarantee some competition at the front of the field (or should that be the back) and everyone will walk away (forwards or backwards) with a T-shirt and medal.
Alongside the competitive races in London and Manchester, there will also be a 'charity fun backward run and walk' event for anyone who prefers to experience the backward concept without the pressures of competing. The fun event will also offer entrants a fabulous and novel way to raise money. The UK Championships in Manchester have already teamed up with Forever Manchester, who will be the official race charity. There will also be a special prize for the biggest fundraiser.
Enthusiasts claim backward running, also known as reverse running and retro running, has substantial benefits, and taken seriously can be a potent weapon in your training. Research has shown that it has considerable potential in areas of fitness, well-being and rehabilitation. If you're looking to reduce the risk of injury, have a more balanced lower body, better posture or an exercise to aid rehabilitation, backward running could be for you.
To find out more about backward running and the London and Manchester events visit the Reverse Running website.