Fitness events are the perfect outing for any fitness lover. Free merchandise, meeting your favourite fitness models and athletes, and learning more about the industry that you love. That's why we've put together a list of the 5 fitness events that you won't want to miss.
The London Health Show
The London Health show is split into 6 different sectors: Nutrition and Supplements, Sports and Fitness, Beauty and Anti-aging, Complementary Health, Organic and Natural Products, and Healthcare Equipment and Technology. Event hosts promise there will be over 120 exhibitors for its thousands of attendees to explore as well as workshops and live demonstrations. Special guests include Dr Christian Jessen - best known for his work on Channel 4’s 'Embarrassing Bodies', Dr Leah Totton - Winner of BBC Apprentice 2013 and founder of Dr Leah Skin Care and Clinics, and Shona Wilkinson - head nutritionist at Nutri Care. Network with fitness professionals, grab some gear, and enter competitions to win impressive prizes.
The London Bike Show
The largest cycling exhibition in the UK is making its return to London's Excel Centre. There is something for everyone at this show, from professional cyclists to those who just cycle to work, or those who are just getting into the sport.
The show hosts ‘Air to the Throne’, a two-day competition which sees some of the world's best freestyle mountain bike riders perform mind-blowing tricks across the AT3 course and battle it out for a £10,000 prize. Joining them will be over 300 brands, plus one of the country’s most recognised Olympians, Sir Chris Hoy, who will be launching the latest bikes in his HOY range at the event. There will also be appearances from over 50 guest speakers including Chris Boardman MBE, who will be discussing all things cycling as well as showcasing the newest Boardman bikes.There will be tracks set up for both adults and children to take their wheels for a test spin and the world's only ‘pop-up’ Velodrome for those cyclists who are a little braver.
Cost: £15-19 depending on which day you decide to go.
Run Expo: Manchester
RunExpo challenges you to lace up for the biggest show in town. Based at Manchester’s Event City, the show is for beginners and experienced runners alike. This is the ultimate festival of running with all the latest gear, celebrities, and competitions. Leaders in the industry such as Nike, Ron Hill, and USN are just some of the show's exhibitors who will be showcasing their newest releases. Plus, the legend that is Paula Radcliffe is attending the show to help with the running event ‘Run Like A Legend’, which features an 800m track running through the heart of the Expo. 2000 runners will take part in their very own dream mile, designed to push you to ‘find your fast’ and hit a new Personal Best within Event City's walls. From gait analysis to a live fashion show there is plenty to get involved with.
Be:FIT is a fitness expo exclusively for women, to empower and inspire. Held over 3 days at Islington's Business Design Centre, 15,000 female fitness enthusiasts will be greeted by fitness classes, cookery demonstrations, wellness experts, and over 125 brands exhibiting their health foods and activewear ranges. Special guests including celebrity chefs and popular Instagram stars will hold guest talks and question and answer sessions. The event promises to keep you busy all day with classes by leading state of the art gyms such as Equinox and Gymbox, from Bootcamp to Yoga.The show is more than just freebies, it offers expert advice that you can take away with you to upgrade your lifestyle and make a positive and permanent healthy change.
Bodypower is the most celebrated fitness event in the UK, held at Birmingham’s NEC. Over the course of 3 days, nearly 100,000 fitness enthusiasts from all over the world join international stars, industry experts and exhibitioners, to witness national competitions, industry previews, seminars and discover hundreds of fitness-focused brands. Past guests include Phil Heath, Kai Greene, and Bill Kazmaier as well as Steve Cook and Paige Hathaway. Nearer to the event, the biggest names in the industry will confirm their attendance, from business professionals to competitors, athletes, nutritionists and models. Amongst the hundreds of fitness stands, Bodypower also hosts a variety of sporting competitions, such as powerlifting and Bodypower's very own ‘Fit Factor’ - the search for the next big fitness model. There are also strongman events and the Bodypower bodybuilding competition.
Cost: £25 - £99
What better way is there to spend your Sunday lunchtime encased in a world of pain for an hour or more?
To be honest, other than Yorkshire puddings and roasties, I'm sure you'll agree not much beats a Sprint Triathlon (right?)
Southend-on-Sea provided a great location for the first Sundried Triathlon. The town really welcomed the event and a whopping 2500 people came out to support the 300 athletes, many of whom were competing in their first triathlon.
The swim took place in the Thames Estuary with a refreshing midday start, due to the tide times. 1 hour before the start all we could see was mud flats for miles. I'm familiar with a non-wetsuit swim, but a non-water swim? That would be a first.
There was no need to worry. A mini tsunami came in as scheduled and the bay rapidly filled with clean salt water. We flip-flopped our way 500m along the sea front to the start, (flip-flops were then deposited back at the start for us), and the swim was simply point-to-point parallel with the beach: great for nervous swimmers who didn't have to venture far out their depth, and nice for spectators who could walk along and see the race unfold.
After failing to hold the fast feet of the lead man who set off beside me, I found another set, then decided to have a go on my own and make it hurt. The speed that is easy in a draft becomes really hard when in front, and I probably should have stayed where I was, but as this was a training race there was no need for energy conservation!
A smooth transition and we were quickly on to the fast, flat but quite technical bike course. The organisers are talking about a closed-road multi-lap affair for next year which I think would really draw the crowds in further and give it the buzz of a French Grand Prix tri: something the UK scene could really benefit from. I lost one place to another fast boy through the 20km bike leg, finishing up that bit in 4th; feeling rather power-deprived throughout. Some days you're the firework, some, the damp squib.
The run was out and back along the sea-front where people out for their Sunday stroll probably wondered why all these lycra-loving lovelies were self-flagellating themselves upon this Day of Rest, but they were giving great words of encouragement and seemed really into the spirit of the event: Southend seems to be a perfect match for a triathlon.
So, back to the run. 2.5k in a straight line does seem a long way, and to turn around and repeat the feat was another painful prospect, especially when you could see the Sundried finish banner over a mile away in the distance, not getting any closer...
Coming into a shorter triathlon as a longer distance athlete, you have visions of it 'being over quickly' and being 'no big deal' but I tell you what, Sprint is long and Sprint is hard! And I could only seem to muster limited speed anyway, but it was hurting as much as I could make it, so will hopefully prove an excellent training session as part of my preparation for the European 70.3 champs in 3 weeks’ time.
Coming to the finish, I didn't have much time to celebrate the female win and 3rd place overall as I was very aware of the clock ticking close to 60 minutes, and I always enjoy dipping under an hour in a Sprint. Sadly, I was 25 seconds too fat, but this will come in the next few weeks as I start to sharpen up for my first peak of the season. A couple of kilos makes a lot of difference to speed!
I would like to thank Sundried for their support of me as a pro triathlete this year, providing great PR opportunities as well as beautifully crafted clothing, and now adding another string to their bow: by producing a fantastic first event. Sundried really does stand for quality through and through. I look forward to seeing how the Southend Triathlon develops in years to come, and will definitely be back for that sub 1 hour in the future!
About the author: Alice Hector is a prolific elite professional triathlete, having already won the Volcano Triathlon in Lanzarote earlier this year. She is also a professional fitness model and has done lots of work with Sundried as an athlete ambassador.