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Records smashed for half marathon
THE Swindon Half Marathon broke records in two of the three races held on the day, official figures show.
The main 13.1 mile event registered 1,928 entrants while 667 people took part in the two-mile fun run.
Only the five-mile multi-terrain run failed to beat numbers for previous years.
The year before 1,795 people took part in the half marathon and 258 in the fun run.
The figures were included in reports presented to Swindon Council’s Scrutiny Committee.
The council is working with sports agencies to develop a strategy for the borough up to 2017. Areas it will concentrate on will include increasing participation, developing talent, assessing the effectiveness of local sporting infrastructure, regeneration, community input and sporting heritage.
The strategy is expected to go out to wider consultation over the next two months.
The report stated: “We are very proud to have organised the event for the past nine years and are now handing it over to the British Heart Foundation to organise from this year.”
Registration for the event, which has been awarded the Gold Standard by the British Association of Road Races, was opened two weeks ago by the British Heart Foundation.
The event takes runners out of town through scenic villages across the Wiltshire Downs.
This year marks the first year the event is officially owned by the British Heart Foundation after the departure of its main sponsor, Nationwide, in October last year.
Organiser Hannah Carling, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be running Swindon’s Half Marathon this year and are looking forward to working more closely with Swindon council to put on the town’s biggest event.
“Heart disease is responsible for almost 80,000 deaths in the UK each year, killing a staggering one in six men and one in nine women. I really hope people will cease the day and sign up for a challenge to help support the British Heart Foundation’s fight to beat the UK’s biggest killer.”
The main event runs alongside the two-mile fun run and the multi-terrain course.
The charity is appealing to participants to raise as much money as they can in sponsorship, as the entry fee purely goes towards the cost of running the event safely.
Everyone interested in signing up can call 0845 130 8663 or register online at bhf.org.uk/Swindon or you can email email@example.com