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Fleet Half Marathon organisers promise minimal delays

Fleet Half Marathon athletes hit the streets this Sunday for 33rd annual race in town

 

Drivers are being warned to expect delays as thousands of runners take to the streets for the Brooks Fleet Pre-London Half Marathon on Sunday.

Race organisers have once again secured a rolling closure with roads reopening as soon as possible after the runners have passed.

Among the roads affected will be Reading Road North from before 10am until about 11.30am, Fleet Road from before 10.30am to about 11.40am and parts of Crookham Road from before 10.30am to about 1.30pm.

Janet Leggett, of race organisers Fleet and Crookham Athletic Club, said: “We appreciate the patience and understanding of motorists. We always aim to minimise the disruption as much as possible.”

Organisers are hoping the sun will shine on runners for the 33rd annual race.

Race director Penny Abbott said: “The weather has been against so many races this year but we hope that it treats us kindly. We have made lots of changes to [race finish] Calthorpe Park and invested in preventative measures to overcome the wet winter.

“A huge thank you has to go to central team who have been planning the event for the past six months, the 300 volunteers on the day and of course the residents of Fleet who support the runners.

“The whole day is a credit to everyone involved and the town of Fleet.”

This year’s race, which starts at 10.30am from Reading Road North, is being dedicated to local runner Mike Cloke, who passed away following a heart attack in December last year.

Mr Cloke supported the event, both as a participant and a marshal, and was a coach to under-18 athletes at Fleet & Crookham AC.

Spectators can look out for the TV Times Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research team of television and film celebrities in their distinctive yellow T-shirts.

The other associated charity is the Hartley Wintney-based Matthew Elvidge Trust, set up after Matthew took his own life after suffering a short bout of anxiety and depression. It has a record 199 runners registered for the race.

Matthew’s father Hamish said: “The Fleet Half plays a vital role in funding our work and raising awareness of depression and we are proud to be the official local charity this year. Thank you to all the organisers and good luck to all our runners.”

One newcomer to the event is Fleet resident and former Calthorpe Park pupil Jason Bull, 44, who is running at the same age as his father Peter did in 1986 when he finished the race in 2 hours 4 minutes and 40 seconds.

The IT worker is now desperate to beat his father’s time to win a £100 wager.

Organisers have arranged for Jason to run in the same race number as his father so look out for number 3118 and give him a cheer.

Full race results and pictures will be printed in the News & Mail next week.

 

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