Martin Read – Sports Reporter
This Sunday there will be another huge family fun day at Barns Green, when the whole village and an army of runners from across the county and beyond turn out for the spectacular Barns Green Half Marathon – accompanied by the10km race. There will be a host of serious runners, recreational competitors and the ever popular fancy dress entrants, again sponsored by ChilliPepperTV, previous years having seen runners dressed as Batman, dames, skeletons, witches, wizards and babies, with a Harry Hill lookalike winning first prize – there are 5 fancy dress prizes!
The Half Marathon course on closed roads, crosses beautiful undulating countryside, passing through Christ’s Hospital School, usually with the great spectacle of the magnificent school marching band enlivening and encouraging participants. As last year – when the huge community run saw over 2,000 runners registered amid support from the whole village – the Half Marathon starts at 10 am – with the 10K race, setting off at 10.20am, also going through the school grounds, with the last km to the tape down hill. Every runner receives a goody bag and a medal with prize money of £250 for both male and female winners and additional awards for places, the best team, record breakers and the entertaining fancy dress.
This year the Committee is very keen to make the 37th Half Marathon, and 10K race even better than ever, encouraging racers to enter at the earliest opportunity. The event is organized and run entirely by volunteers and since it began in 1982, this unique village occasion has raised a huge amount of money – this year’s chosen charity again being the wonderful St Catherine’s Hospice. Race Director Vernon Jennings tells us: “We are extremely proud of what we have been able to achieve since the first Half Marathon – each year the event gets bigger with more runners and spectators! St Catherine’s Hospice do such great work, being dedicated to providing specialised end of life care and support to local people, their families, friends and carers – and we are also able to contribute to the various local and junior organisations, societies and clubs that help us organise the event on the day.” There will be food stalls, bands playing around the course and on the green, pre race musical warm ups by two of Bluecoat Sports’ fitness instructors for all the runners, and, among other attractions, there will be a fun fair, and ice creams aplenty – all guaranteeing a cracking atmosphere for the entire family. Participants and spectators are advised to arrive early! For more information on the always well organised event – including the online booking facility – see http://www.barnsgreen-half.org.uk and be sure to pick up a copy of the District Post October 4th edition, which will showcase both runs with results and stunning photographs. Barns Green Half Marathon and 10K Race – Sat Nav – RH13 0NH