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Everyday…and I do mean EVERY DAY I get emails from brands offering me money to partner with or endorse them in some way.

Nine out of ten times these brands are completely inappropriate for me to partner with, despite there being huge financial incentive for me to do so.

Sometimes these are just brands where there is no obvious connection, like being asked to endorse a mattress (how to get a good night sleep post anyone) but mainly these are diet or so called nutritional supplement brands, brands which have huge budgets and a desire to get to my audience of overweight women on social media.

I turn these opportunities away EVERY SINGLE DAY, because

  1. I have integrity
  2. I will not risk losing my integrity
  3. I will not add to the already fucked up world we live in when it comes to inactivity, obesity and women being told time and time again that they are not good enough as they are

Running is a wonderful sport, a sport which has transformed all aspects of my life. However, the running world, the broader running industry can be very frustrating at times…especially as it is all about sponsorship and funding these days.

If you are not one of the big players in the sport it really is a challenge to make a living from what you love doing, but also to deliver programmes and concepts that actually influence people and change lives.

This is why I was so angry to see the recent partnership with Great Run and Herbal Life announced.

For those who don’t know Great Run is the UK’s biggest mass participation race series which has inspired hundreds of thousands of people over the years to run in events such as the Great North Run, as well as establishing Great Run Local – free of charge weekly events for the community.

Herbalife are a well known multi level marketing  corporation who promote health supplement and weight management tools…shakes namely. They sell a dream to their distributors and customers, and distributors make their money out of not only selling the product, but by recruiting people to work underneath them. In turn, these distributors sell the dream and the MLM continues.

Now I have had very little to do with either of these companies…but all I know is no company that is encouraging folk to get active and live healthier lives should be promoting a company which promotes replacing real food with not real foods…especially when this is accompanied with nutritional and weight loss advice from individuals who are not qualified to give this advice.

Also…and I think this is what I am most angry about.

Is we are still talking about running purely from a weight loss perspective. Like being slim is the number 1 priority over and above health and wellbeing.

What will this partnership look like? What will it mean for GreatRuns participants? How will this make overweight runners feel? Will their details be shared? Will they be bombarded with inappropriate marketing messages.

I could write about this subject all day, but at this point I want to draw your attention to a petition on change.org which was set up by fellow blogger and friend Helen Tamblyn Saville which now has 1700 signatures.

Please sign this petition and encourage your friends and family to do the same. 

This is not an appropriate partnership…plus I am not even sure GreatRun need them, they already have established partnerships with big brands like Simply Health, Puma, Garmin, Duracell, Aqua Pura…

So is this simply about more money? Is this about profit? Do you really give a shit about getting inactive folk active…because this partnership says otherwise to me.

I am sick of seeing big running companies and organisations saying they care about getting inactive people active but are not willing to look at the wider context and act fairly and responsibly.

In part I believe this is because of the changing political landscape in sport, the money isn’t in elite sport anymore, or focussing on those already playing sport…just watch in the next few years everyone is going to be aligning their businesses to capture this market…I mean come on Nike just brought out a plus size range…if that doesn’t tell you something.

But with this new market comes new responsibilities and a need for integrity and a bit of love and care.

I for one will not take part or help promote any GreatRun event while this partnership with HerbalLife is in place.

What do you think?

Please remember to sign the petition here

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