Runners raring to go for Fleet Half MarathonBy Stephen Lloyd
January 30, 2013
THIS year’s Brooks Fleet pre-London Half Marathon is full after online entries were snapped up in record time.
The race organiser, Fleet and Crookham Athletic Club, is anticipating the best event yet, with more than 2,200 runners set to pound the streets on March 17.
Janet Leggett, in charge of publicity for the 32-year-old race, said runners entered for many reasons such as to get fit, for a personal challenge or to raise funds for their favourite charity.
“This year we have some really exciting teams entered such as the Matthew Elvidge Trust which has a record 150 runners taking part," she said.
“This year’s local associated charity The Brain Tumour Charity has 25 allocated places, while Fleet beauty salon Truly Scrumptious has a team of 20 people running for the same charity.
“Andy Seery, who last year ran around the course in a suit of armour, is back this year with a Battle of the Boozers competition raising money for Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice and ABF The Soldiers' Charity.”
Ms Leggett said there would be five sub teams totalling 35 to 50 runners dressed up as characters from the Wizard of Oz, battling to get a beer barrel around the course, and a team of TV celebrities running for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.
“It’s going to be an exciting race to watch and we know that the residents of Fleet will once again line the streets to support the runners,” she added.
The Brain Tumour Charity, based in Farnborough, was inspired by Samantha Dickson from Dogmersfield who died of a brain tumour aged just 16.
Truly Scrumptious owner Claire Killick is taking part in her first half marathon along with 20 others and hopes to raise at least £2,000 for the charity.
Ms Killick, who went to school with Samantha, said: “The Fleet Half Marathon fits in brilliantly with our clients, as health and beauty go together.
“We’ve had amazing feedback and for me personally it’s been quite emotional bringing back a lot of great memories of Sam, not to mention the gruelling task of preparing for the run.”
Ms Killick recently met up with Samantha’s mother, Angela, to chat about the half marathon challenge and to share stories.
Mrs Dickson said: “It’s great to see another local business take such an interest in the charity and Claire’s enthusiasm is brilliant, especially for raising awareness of the work we do for people going through some very tough times in their lives.”
The record for the largest team once again goes to the Matthew Elvidge Trust, who last year had 110 runners and raised £25,000 for the charity, set up by the Elvidge family from Hartley Wintney after their son Matthew took his own life after suffering a short bout of depression.
The Fleet Half Marathon is a British Association of Road Races gold standard event that prides itself as being organised “by runners, for runners”.
Race director Penny Abbott said the club was dependent on volunteers for the event to go ahead.
“With more than 120 marshals around the course, kit storage co-ordinators, water station helpers and medal hangers, volunteers are key,” she added.
“So if you have been inspired by the Olympics Games Makers, why not give it a go.”
Fleet and Crookham Athletic Club is hosting a series of Sunday morning training runs for half marathon entrants over a nine-week period leading up to the race. All are welcome, see www.fleetandcrookhamac.org.uk for more details.
To volunteer at the race, email email@example.com.