RUNNERS are gearing up for a unique Basingstoke race – but there is still time to join them on the start line of the Croudace Festival 5k 2024.

Sunday, April 28 is the date for your diary as the event, which gives runners the rare opportunity to run through Festival Place shopping centre, in Basingstoke town centre, returns for another year.

Nearly 200 people have already signed up for the 2024 event, and every runner will be doing their bit to help the environment as organiser Destination Basingstoke and sponsors Croudace Homes and Festival Place are pleased to continue for a third year with an initiative that makes the race more sustainable. Instead of giving away a free T-shirt, a tree will be planted for every runner.

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Matthew Norris, managing director of Croudace Homes, said: “Croudace has a long-standing tradition of supporting the communities in which we operate, and our partnership with Destination Basingstoke is one of which we are extremely proud.

“We are delighted, therefore, to once again be the main sponsor of this exciting and popular race, which is open to people of all abilities and across a wide age range.

“As a responsible business, committed to reducing our own carbon emissions, we are particularly pleased with the ongoing partnership with Trees Not Tees and the initiative to plant a tree for every runner who participates.”

Neil Churchill, centre director of Festival Place, said: “We are extremely proud to be supporting the Croudace Festival 5k event again. Our shopping centre has been at the heart of Basingstoke for more than 20 years, and we are keen to support our local community as much as we can. We look forward to welcoming runners and their families to the event.”

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Jonathan Pender, chair of Destination Basingstoke, said: “Thank you to headline sponsor Croudace Homes and to event sponsor Festival Place for their ongoing support which is key to making this popular event happen.”

The race will start and finish in Festival Square, go through the shopping centre, out round Basing View and Eastrop Park, before returning to Festival Place.

Places are limited and the event often sells out, so runners are encouraged to enter as soon as possible.

Entry is open to all runners aged 13 and above, and you can enter at