THE Swindon Half Marathon has been saved.

Runners across the town rejoiced yesterday as it was revealed The Race Organiser will be taking reins of the half marathon for the foreseeable future.

Sunday's event looked set to be the last when the current organisers said the annual half marathon wasn’t financially viable for them to stage due to hight traffic management costs.

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Although The Race Organiser has yet to announce its plans for 2020 and beyond, it is believed the event – which has attracted more than 2,000 entries this year – will continue in a similar vein.

Graeme Hardie, one of the current half marathon organisers, said: “We put out a post on a racers' forum to see if anyone would be interested in taking on the event.

“We got about 10 or 12 people message us and we eventually whittled it down to The Race Organiser because they have a really good track record when it comes to putting on half marathons.

“A lot of the other people interested had only done 5ks or 10ks so we wanted someone who had experience with putting on full half marathons.”

Founded in 2012 and based in London, The Race Organiser has more than140 races in its calendar, including the Queen Elizabeth Park 10k, Run Silverstone and Reading 020.

Graeme, who has been involved with the Swindon run since 2016, said: “We planted the seed and now it’s time for someone else to make it grow.

“We want them to take it and run with it.”

But this year's half marathon will not be his last.

He said: “I’ll be there next year as an advisor, I have an obligation to introduce all the sponsors, the council, the running groups to make sure it’s a smooth transition.

“But ideally I can’t wait to be running. I’ve always said this is a race I would love to run and I’ve asked them to guarantee me the number one bib for next year.”

Emma Sperring, the Swindon parkrun event director who has been supporting efforts to keep the half marathon alive, said: “I’m over the moon. It’s great for Swindon and great for the running community.

“It will bring people into the town and I’m confident the new organisers will do a good job. It’s fantastic news.”

The Race Organiser has been approached for comment. On its website, it says: “Our year-round events programme in London, the South and the Midlands includes 5k, 10k and half marathon events in stunning parks, woodlands and waterways, along with larger town and city-wide events with closed-road courses.”