Exhausted runners who took part in the Swindon Half Marathon are being urged to one last effort after completing the 13.1 mile race – lobbying the council.

An email to competitors from the organisers has asked them to express the desire to see the race continue, and for the borough council to give it more support.

The email said: “As many of you will know, the future of the Swindon Half is a little Rocky, so we need your help to push it forwards, as I feel that now we’ve broken the back of the difficulties associated with the infancy of the race, it can go from strength to strength and bring so much to Swindon.

As you would’ve all seen … there’s been a real swing of acceptance by the residents of Swindon, and the non-running community on the course were out in large numbers supporting you all, which given the early start, is superb.

“In a few weeks, we have an audience with the head of the commercial side of the council to propose a business case to him for next year’s race and onwards. For the council to pay attention to the race, we need to take in numbers to show the benefit to the town. “

The email links to a brief online survey asking participants how much they, or their supporters spend in town on transport, parking, food and drink and at running or sports stores.It also suggests runners contact their ward councillors.

Councillor Keith Williams, the council’s cabinet member for corporate and customer services, said: “The half marathon is a fantastic event for Swindon and I would like to congratulate everyone who took part in Sunday’s race, many of whom helped raise tens of thousands of pounds for local charities.

“There is a real passion from local people and runners from outside the town who want the race to become a permanent fixture in the running calendar and we will continue to support the organisers in order to achieve this aim.

“Unfortunately, the inaugural running of the race caused huge problems on the town’s road network and had a severe impact on the emergency services which was why the organisers and the council agreed the start time was brought forward to 8am this year

“The earlier start time helped to mitigate the traffic issues and we will be sitting down with the organisers for a thorough debrief. The start time for future events will form part of those discussions, as we appreciate this is a fundamental factor in widening the regional appeal and increasing runner numbers.”

The Labour group’s spokesperson for leisure, Coun Jane Milner-Barry, said: “The Half Marathon is a very special event and a lot of people really got behind the race this year. Althoughe there were traffic issues in 2017, I was surprised the council forced the organisers to move to a much earlier time. The very early start was bound to make it more difficult to attract enough runners to make the run sustainable.

If we were running the Council, the Labour group would safeguard the future of the Half Marathon by giving the organisers the support they need. We urge the Conservative group to also make this commitment and show cross-party support for the event.”