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Rain braved by 1,100 at half marathon
NEXT year’s Swindon half marathon is going to be even bigger and better, organisers from the British Heart Foundation have claimed.
Donations for this year’s 13.1-mile race are still pouring in and runners are still getting over their strains and aches – but organisers of the race are already preparing for the 2014 event.
Around 1,100 runners braved the heavy rain to take part in the race on Sunday. Winner of the half marathon was Nathan Montague, who crossed the finish line an impressive one hour and 16 minutes after beginning.
There was also a five-mile multi-terrain and 2km fun run setting off from Pipers Way, which were all started by the leader of Swindon Council, David Renard.
“It was an absolutely amazing day,” said BHF organiser Melanie Blackman.
“Obviously we had terrible weather and the rain did not stop. The heavens opened unfortunately as everyone set off.
“But it didn’t dampen peoples’ spirits; there was a fantastic turnout. It’s amazing how many people turned up. We were on target for the number of runners.”
Last year about 2,000 people took part, a record for the event.
“Some people were there who didn’t even know anyone taking part. They said they had come down because it was a community event and that’s what it is all about,” said Melanie.
This was the first year the BHF hosted the event and the charity already runs another three half marathons around the country, which all get national advertising.
“We are going to get everyone involved around a table and discuss how we can make next year even bigger and better,” said Melanie.
“We are open to ideas. Next year there is going to be a huge marketing campaign and we expect it will be bigger.”
She wanted to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers involved who worked thall day to make the event run smoothly. She also thanked Swindon Council.
“Steve Connolly and Peter Robinson, who designed the event 10 years ago when they worked at the council, have been such an incredible support to me,” added Melanie.
“I would encourage everybody to keep collecting their sponsorship. I’m so proud of the number of people who have taken part and supported us.”