Bridgnorth Marathon toned down amid safety concerns
Safety concerns raised by the organisers of the new Bridgnorth Marathon mean the route for 2020 will be toned down to make it more accessible.
The inaugural marathon was introduced this year as part of a raft of alterations to the Bridgnorth Walk.
While the course was praised by some runners as being one of the toughest in the country, part of the route took competitors through boggy moorland.
Organisers from Bridgnorth Lions have since revisited the route and have decided to revise it for next year.
They said alterations were needed to ensure the future of the marathon.
The Lions said they did not believe anyone was injured during the event this year while traversing the ground near Burf Bank, but felt it prudent to make adjustments that will see runners follow tracks through Burwarton Park instead.
A new pricing structure has also been introduced for the event, which last year raised more than £100,000 for local, national and international charities and good causes.
For 2020, the walk fee will range from £15 to £20 and the marathon will be from £30 to £40.
Peter Parker, chairman of the Bridgnorth Lions Walk, said: “We’re very excited about the changes made, as we think they will continue to help us improve what for many think is already one of the country’s best community events.
“In particular we are hoping that the marathon will attract a greater number of runners.
“Last year’s first time event was praised by those who ran for taking them through the spectacular Shropshire countryside.
“We have changed our pricing structure to allow people who register early to benefit from lower prices.”
He added: “For the walk, we have upped the age requirement not to do the climb up and down the Brown Clee from 40 to 50 years old as so many older competitors seem to be able to do the longer distance quite comfortably.”
In efforts to make the event more inclusive, a new family walk through Ditton Priors will also be available.
The five-mile walk costs £16 per family and will run alongside a junior fun run for nine to 14 year olds costing £6.
Following the event this year, one runner said: “It was a very tough route but a fantastic event, on a par with other top marathons I’ve done – one of the toughest in the country.”