ENTRANTS are being invited to sign up for a dash around the shops in Basingstoke with a difference.

Destination Basingstoke has announced that the second Brackenwood Festival 5k race around Basingstoke town centre will take place on Sunday, July 20.

Last year, the race attracted 200 runners, who took up the challenge of completing a course that took them through Festival Place shopping centre, around Basing View, with a lap of Eastrop Park, before crossing the finish line in Festival Square.

This year, the course will be the same, but the minimum entry age has been reduced to 13, allowing younger athletes to participate in the event.

The race is sponsored by Basingstoke firm Brackenwood Windows, which will be entering their own corporate team, and staff are keen to encourage others to do the same and challenge their position as reigning corporate team champions.

David Medcraft, managing director of Brackenwood Windows, said: “Brackenwood is proud to be able to sponsor the race again. We thoroughly enjoyed being involved last year.

"It was such a success that we wanted to ensure the race could become a regular feature in the Basingstoke running calendar.

“Brackenwood is a local company committed to the town, and we are pleased to be working with Destination Basingstoke again.”

Steven Connolly, centre director of Festival Place and chairman of Destination Basingstoke, added: “This is a special event. Where else can you run a recognised UKA race through the middle of a shopping centre?

“We look forward to welcoming runners and their families for this unique combination of running and shopping.”

Destination Basingstoke will be organising the race on behalf of all the partners.

Entries are now open for any individual, club or team. Please remember that participants must be over the age of 13 on race day.

More details are available at destinationbasingstoke.co.uk.