BASINGSTOKE Half Marathon and 10k race will be back this Sunday, October 3, after missing last year due to lockdown restrictions.

This will be the 10th edition of the popular race.

Not-for-profit organisation Destination Basingstoke, the organisers of the event, said they have planned some changes for this year's race. This includes a rolling start on Sunday to avoid crowding at the start of the marathon.

It has also been decided that the race will start from within War Memorial Park this time to avoid closure of the ring road for the first part of the race.

Felicity Edwards, race director from Destination Basingstoke, said rolling start is just one of the important measures they are taking to make the race safer.

“While there is no legal requirement to do anything different to usual, we take the safety of all of our runners, volunteers, staff and suppliers very seriously,” Ms Edwards said.

“We have worked on actions with the council and other regulatory bodies, to give everyone some peace of mind without impacting on the enjoyment and atmosphere of this special day.

“We are asking all our runners, staff suppliers and volunteers to take lateral flow tests and are removing the need for much queuing, by posting out race bibs and the main race village area will have access to runners only.”

The Basingstoke Half Marathon also clashes with the postponed London Marathon this weekend, and some of the regular runners have been torn between taking up a coveted London place and supporting the local race.

Hence the organisers have added an option for participants to race virtually anytime from last month to October 3. It also means anyone not comfortable yet with participating in a big event can still get involved on their own terms.

The race will also see involvement from corporates, running clubs and charity teams.

Last year, the organisers had to take the difficult decision to cancel the race because of Covid restrictions.

Destination Basingstoke’s target is to help raise funds for many local charities and especially the race’s main charity St Michael’s Hospice.

The marathon’s headline sponsors are Phillips Solicitors, Lilly UK, Tech Data, Lavazza Professional and Portsmouth Estates.

You can still enter the races by clicking here.