Delays expected during Fleet Half MarathonBy Stephen LLoyd
March 15, 2013
RESIDENTS are being warned to expect delays when runners take to the streets for the Brooks Fleet Pre-London Half Marathon on Sunday, March 17.
A number of temporary road closures will be in place to ensure the safety of runners taking part in the race, organised by Fleet and Crookham Athletic Club and now in its 32nd year.
As in previous years, organisers have secured a closure order for roads on the race route.
This is a rolling closure with the roads reopening as soon as possible after the runners have passed.
Road signs will be placed along the route stating the estimated times that individual roads will be closed.
Race publicity officer Janet Leggett said: “We appreciate the patience and understanding of motorists who may experience some delay in their journeys if they travel during the road closure times.
“We always aim to minimise the disruption as much as possible.”
The new-look race starts at 10.30am from Reading Road North. Runners will do a loop of the roads around Calthorpe Park before heading off along Fleet Road and down towards the railway station. They then turn left into Elvetham Road, left into Reading Road North and left again through Fleet town centre.
This time the runners will cross over the railway bridge and then pick up last year’s course at the end of Elvetham Heath Way, over the M3, left into Blackbushe Road and left into Rotten Green Road.
They then go over the A323 into Pale Lane, left into Chatter Alley, then Pilcot Road, followed by The Street and left into Crookham Road towards Fleet town.
At the Oatsheaf traffic lights the runners will turn left into Reading Road North and then left into Calthorpe Park for the finish line.
Among those running will be Andy Seery, who ran last year’s event in a suit of armour to break a new world record. Now he is back with a Battle of the Boozers challenge involving four teams dressed as characters from The Wizard of Oz battling each other to get a beer barrel around the 13.1-mile course.
They will be raising money for Farnham’s Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice and ABF The Soldiers Charity.
The Hartley Wintney-based Matthew Elvidge Trust has a record 170 runners signed up. They will be running in memory of Matthew, who took his own life aged 23 after a short period of depression.
The trust aims to reduce the number of suicides in the UK and provide more support for bereaved families.
Another group of runners to look out for is the TV Times celebrity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research team, known as the Banana Army due to their distinctive yellow T-shirts. They have raised around £200,000 since the race started in 1981.
Celebrity runners include Bertie Portal, who appeared in The Iron Lady, The King’s Speech and My Week with Marilyn, Al Petrie, from The Bank Job and The Duchess, Holly Davidson, from The Bill and Casualty, and fellow actors Paul Stocker and Mark Lewis Jones.
The local charity associated with the race is the Brain Tumour Trust, which was invited by the organisers following the death of race founder Colin Gostelow from a brain tumour in 2009.
The News & Mail will be running the full results with pictures in a special pull-out in next week’s edition.