London Marathon runners seek advice from University of Bedfordshire students

Fri 11 April, 2014
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VIRGIN Money London Marathon runners are receiving specialist advice from some of the University of Bedfordshire’s best Sport Science students and one of its world-leading experts, at a huge pre-Marathon exhibition and seminar event.

The Virgin Money London Marathon Information Desk is staffed by a team exclusively from the University at Dockland’s ExCeL centre this week.

The team including Professor John Brewer, Sport and Exercise Science postgraduate student Lee Warren and undergraduate Glodis Bonket are helping some of the 35,000 runners, expected at the Virgin Money London Marathon Expo, with fitness, preparation and nutrition advice for not only during the run, but before and after too.

Lee Warren and Glodis Bonket are putting all their years of studying the subject to good use to help as many contestants as possible.

Questions raised so far include: what should I eat the night before? how much water should I take in during the race?; what nutrition should I be taking on?, and many other more generic Marathon questions from the runners, as well as their families and friends (more than 70,000 people are expected to pass the team's Information Desk during the event).

Lee Warren at Marathon Exhibition 

Lee (pictured talking to a runner, above), who is studying for his Master’s, said: “It’s been absolutely brilliant to be here and has linked in with what I have been researching – post exercise recovery. I have been able to talk to runners about what they should be doing after the race to fully recover, and I have also passed on things I have learnt about sports performance, such as taking in water little, and often, in order achieve a top condition throughout the Marathon.”

The Expo – which started on Wednesday and runs until Saturday – attracts major athletic brands, alongside a multitude of other exhibitors showing (and selling) everything from socks, global navigation devices, the latest niche products, and everything between.

It has attracted sports stars including former England striker Michael Owen, Ethiopian long-distance runner Haile Gebrselassie and paralympian David Weir, all of whom the team has been able to meet.

Glodis said that being present was a highlight of his two years at Bedfordshire to-date.

Professor John Brewer, who first ran the marathon 30 years ago, will run it for the 16th time this Sunday.

Professor Brewer, a key figure at the Exhibition (as part of the Marathon’s organising team) for 10 years, added: “It is ideal for us to be here for the runners, because while we can give them general advice for Sunday we can also offer a fuller conversation on any sports science, pacing, nutrition or hydration queries they may have.

“For our students, this kind of high-profile experience – in relation to one of the greatest sporting events in the country – is absolutely invaluable and being able to partner with the Virgin Money London Marathon shows the high quality opportunities that our unique internship programme at the University of Bedfordshire offers.”

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