Virgin Sport {sister’s} Experience 

Late last week my sister and I had the great pleasure of being invited to a Virgin Sport event. It was held at Branson Estate owned by sir Richard Branson’s son-in-law, Freddie and his wife. The estate is in Oxfordshire, it’s a really nice drive down. When  approaching the estate you get a sense of lavish lifestyle and we felt fortunate to have experienced it even for the day.

When we arrived at the venue, we were escorted round go the “barn” part of the estate. Which to be honest for a regular Joe like me wouldn’t be classed as a barn it was Massive. A mini mansion really, the beauty of this event was that there were people from all respects. There was cross-fitters, fitness instructors, lucozade scientist, the press and bloggers all gathered for the upcoming half marathon. The Oxford Half Marathon is now the Virgin Sport Oxford Half Marathon which is being sponsored by Virgin Sport.

 If you’re not familiar with Virgin Sport then check out this brief summary. 

  •  Virgin Sport is co-founded by sir Richard Branson and his Son in law Freddie. It’s the newest companies within the Global Virgin Group, and is on a mission to move the world through sport.
  • Launched in January 2017 and has organised four events; London {Hackney & Westminster}, Oxford and San Francisco
  •  The main aim is to get everyone involved in sport by promoting active lifestyle experiences that bring people and communities together.
  • Virgin Sport combines running and fitness challenges with community focused events. Virgin Sport plans to grow to new cities and active experiences in the coming years.
  • There’s more than one way to get involved, if you’re not up for running you can be a spectathlete ( spectator athlete-supporter)
  • Virgin Sport is also passionate about getting more kids active and giving back to youth sports programs in their communities


With just under 4 weeks to go before the half marathon, we had an opportunity to ‘play around’. By play around I mean, participate in some strenuous exercises set up by the fitness and personal instructors. Marathon running is not just about practicing how to run but working your entire body and mind.

To gain the full experience, we were guided to the front of the house were we would take part in the activities. The aim was to get a different part of your body working and moving. Eight different exercise stations were set up with the idea of working in groups to do each section.

Each group had two people, the rules where both partners had to participate and complete before progression. Progression to the next section was also hindered by the previous group who had to finish before you could move.

  •  6 metre sprint then move to do 20 kettle bell springs and finish with walking lunges.
  • 25 rotational squints then move to walking lunches  and finish with 30 side to side planks.
  • To finish it all, work on sledge pulling and finish off with a 7-10 metre sprint to the finishing line.

I was on the advanced team and was able to push myself a little further than most. This was roughly the type of agility training that I tend to do at cross fit excluding the sledge pulling. I did this the first time I joined cross fit and for someone who hadn’t worked out in years, I struggled. The work out was fun, for the blood pumping and just give me a different experience.


After the workout we heard back into the “barn” for a Q&A on Virgin Sport as well as marathon prep. We discussed preparing for a half marathon, diets, tested the lucozade electrolyte water and got to share our training tactics. Prior to this meeting, I’d thought about how to shape my diet, training and mind towards the final outcome. Which for me is running the half marathon however something’s I hadn’t considered and hope to work on include:

  •  Diet: What will I eat before and after the half marathon
  • Exercise: How and what will I do once I’ve run the half marathon, no doubt I won’t give up cross fit. I hadn’t thought about a cool down routine or when I’d get back out there (Sunday fun runs).
  • Body: how long will it take for my body to recover from the half-marathon. What things am I going to implement to ensure I am still fighting fit.
  • Hydration: I have to keep drinking water.
  • Routine: The half marathon is fast approaching this doesn’t mean I should change my routine. I know what works for me and how my body responds that’s what I’ve got to adhere to. Not making sudden changes that’ll affect my performance on the day.

I am glad to have had the opportunity to attend the Virgin Sport Oxford Half Marathon Pre-Event. It has inspired me to focus on training, avoiding injuries and think about perfecting my routine. There is so much work that goes into preparing for marathons and I am glad to have the inside scoop.