Thousands of runners are taking part in the Stafford half marathon today.
The event is celebrating it's 35th birthday and there is a new 13.1 mile route.
The race starts at 10.00am in Earl Street, then heads out on Newport Road and along the Isabel Trail before returning to Market Square – also for the 2019 race the organisers have introduced on-the-day-entry, which means there are some places held for those hoping to turn up on the day and run.
Also new to the event this year are volunteer race pacers from Stoke FIT, who will be pacing for finish times ranging from 1 hour 30 to 2 hours 30, allowing runners to realise their finish time goals.
In addition to the Stafford Half Marathon event The Stafford Fun Run will also take place starting at around 10.10am – after the half marathon runners have set off – open to everyone who can be pushed, walk, jog or run from toddlers up to 100! (Under 12’s need to be accompanied by an adult).
There are already over 400 entrants registered but there are still places available as always for those who turn up on the day.
Freedom Leisure Active Communities and Events Manager Liz Hulse, says: “This year celebrates 35 years or the 35th Birthday of the Stafford Half Marathon and 15+ years of the Fun Run, and the reason these running events are still going strong is because they are much loved by both the local community and the running community. This half marathon is well-known in the race circuit as a particularly popular event in the race calendar and is also often used by many marathon runners as part of their training.
“These types of sporting events are a great way to engage with local people and drive active communities, especially the fun run which at a mile is really accessible to all – whether children, families looking to run together or those new to running. We are pleased to see so many children joining in with their families’ because a fun event like this can instil an active lifestyle from a young age.
"In addition, over a hundred volunteers from local organisations also help steward; handing out water, bananas, t-shirts and medals as well as directing the runners and we couldn’t do it without them – thank you to all these people and good luck to all runners!”
Stafford Railway Building Society who have a branch in Market Square and will be there on the day handing out giveaways; University of Wolverhampton in Stafford Centre – who have delivered two free public lectures for runners in Stafford on Strength and Conditioning for Marathon Runners and Psychology for Marathon Runners; and Stafford Grammar School which has over 20 staff and students running this year, fund raising for Help the Heroes and who will also be providing their mini bus to help runners on race day.
Event organisers wish to remind local residents that there are some road closures in place – these are planned and phased in order to keep disruption to a minimum and are in place for the safety of all runners, volunteers and the public for further details visit www.staffordhalf.com