RUNNERS in this year’s Destination Basingstoke Phillips Half-Marathon have been getting some star support from BBC sports presenter Mike Bushell.

The keen runner, who lives in Whitchurch, was guest speaker at a special event hosted by Mercedes-Benz of Basingstoke, which is part of the Sandown Group, at its showroom on Edison Road, Houndmills.

During the event, Mike interviewed north Hampshire distance runner Charlotte Purdue, who was able to give some of her running tips.

Afterwards Mike gave an entertaining talk about his career at BBC Sport and some of his sporting antics for BBC Breakfast.

He is known for featuring less well-known and weird sports on Breakfast from shin kicking to swamp soccer.

Sandown director David George said: “Mike was fantastic – he was so professional and he gave away a couple of his books. It was a brilliant event and it was well attended.

“It was nice to do something for the community – and this helped us feel part of the Basingstoke community. And as one of the top-rated events of its kind in the UK we’re delighted to be increasing our involvement with the Destination Basingstoke Phillips Half-Marathon.”

Mr George said Sandown has a good relationship with Destination Basingstoke, the organisers of the half-marathon.

And he was especially pleased that race director Felicity Edwards, who is also managing director of Destination Basingstoke, was able to give an insight into last year’s 13.1-mile run, which was completed by 1,310 runners, who started and finished at War Memorial Park.

Representatives from Alton Sports and Reactivate were on hand giving an assessment of running styles and some training tips.

In addition to providing the lead vehicle on the race day on Sunday, October 5, Sandown is entering a 40-strong team of customers and staff, many of whom were at the showroom event, along with colleagues from sponsors, including Phillips Solicitors and Tech Data.

Jane Staff, Destination Basingstoke corporate development manager, who also attended the event, said: “As one of our valued Basingstoke Half-Marathon 2014 sponsors, we were delighted to be asked to lend our support at Sandown’s event.

“The evening was a great success and we hope many of the guests will have been inspired to sign up for the race on October 5.”