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Basingstoke Half-Marathon is a runaway success
THE third Destination Basingstoke Shire Half-Marathon proved to be a runaway success, with hundreds of keen runners taking on the challenge.
A total of 1,323 runners took part in this year’s event, slightly more than last year, when 1,310 finished the 13.1-mile route.
Participants lined up at the start of the route by The Lamb pub, in Hackwood Road, Basingstoke, and headed out through Cliddesden, Ellisfield and Farleigh Wallop before looping back to finish at War Memorial Park.
The Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane Councillor Dan Putty officially started the race at 11am along with local Olympian 400-metre runner Rob Tobin.
Well-wishers cheered as the runners set off and the support continued around the course, with people lining the streets to shout encouragement and provide water and sweets for extra energy.
Temperatures were unseasonably warm, rising to 19 degrees, and many of the runners were grateful to be hosed down along the route.
More than 100 volunteers were also on hand to support those running, to marshal the course, hand out bananas, powers bars and water, and give out the medals at the finish line.
Cllr Putty said: “I am very proud to be Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane at a time when there are big events like this happening. It’s a fantastic event with amazing people travelling from all over the world to participate.”
Mr Tobin agreed, saying: “It is a great event with a really good atmosphere and it’s nice to see so many runners taking part.”
The Old Basing-based track star added that he had not been tempted to take part in the half-marathon himself, saying: “It’s far too long for me.”
Felicity Edwards, managing director of race organisers Destination Basingstoke, said she was overwhelmed following the successful event.
She told The Gazette: “It has been a fantastic event – a massive event for the town. There has been some amazing support from so many people, and everyone has really come together to make this a very special event.”
See this week's Gazette, on sale now, for a 12-page pullout on the Basingstoke Half-Marathon.
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