A record number of runners will line up for this Sunday’s Nationwide Swindon Half Marathon and organisers have confirmed that Swindon Town captain Alan McCormack will sound the hooter to get the popular event’s three races underway.
A total of 1,930 runners will tackle the 13.1-mile half marathon course, beating the previous best total of 1,918 two years’ ago, while entries for the five-mile multi terrain race and two-mile fun run currently stand at 283 and 412, respectively.
The number of runners in all races is up on last year and organisers are reminding people who haven’t already signed up that entries for the multi terrain and fun run will be accepted on the day before 10.30am.
Race packs for those that entered the three races before September 21 are currently available from Croft Sports Centre, in Marlborough Lane, Old Town between 9am and 9pm today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday), while the sports centre will also be open on Saturday between 9am and 5pm for race pack collection.
Race packs not collected during this period must be collected on race day from the race pack collection point at the Nationwide Pavilion in the race village. Anyone who registered after September 21 must collect their race pack on the day of the race.
The half marathon will start at 11am on Sunday with the multi-terrain starting at 11.10am. The fun run will start 10 minutes later at 11.20am.
The half marathon, which is organised by Swindon Borough Council and sponsored by Nationwide Building Society, starts on the southern edge of Swindon and winds its way through some of the prettiest neighbouring villages, taking in outstanding views, which more than compensate for the undulating parts of the course the runners face before heading back into the town.
Cllr Keith Williams, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and Strategic Transport, who will compete in the fun run using a hand bike after suffering a broken a hip in a cycle accident, said: “I would like to thank our Leisure Services team for organising what is sure to be another great event and I would like to wish everyone taking part the best of luck.
“The half marathon is a wonderful event for Swindon and I would encourage people who are not taking part to come along and cheer on those that are, as their support can give runners a real boost regardless of what race they are running in.”
Half marathon competitors must be aged 17 or over on race day and anyone running the multi-terrain must be 15 years or over. The two-mile fun run is for all the family but children under eight must be accompanied by an adult who has also entered the race.
All finishers in all of the races will receive a medal and a t-shirt along with the satisfaction and achievement of crossing the finish line.