Shrewsbury half marathon finish for 1,500 youngsters
Almost 1,500 primary school children have gone the extra mile to complete their half marathon challenge.
The children, aged between four and 11, ran or walked the last 1.1 miles of their challenge around a course at the West Mid Showground, Shrewsbury, on Saturday morning to complete the official Schools Half Marathon.
With a proper finishing line, crowds, a gantry, music, and a T-shirt and medal for every child, organisers hope the event will inspire them to continue to run and stay fit into their adulthood.
The Schools Half Marathon began in the town in 2017 but has had a two-year break because of the pandemic.
Organiser, Joe Williams from the UK Run Chat Shrewsbury Half Marathon, said 23 primary schools took part.
"The children had all completed 12 of the 13.1 miles of a half marathon in stages at their school over the last few weeks," he said.
"Each one received a special wristband after completing six miles then a race T-shirt after 12 miles, which they all wore today."
"It was wonderful to be able to host the event again after two years of being unable to put in on."
He added: "Children spend far to much time sitting down in front of screens and they have been even more restricted over the last couple of years.
"We want to promote healthy habits and we hope running will become one of those habits and that they will continue, maybe taking part in the junior park run and coming back when they are 17 to give our adult event a go.
"Parents have told us that this has given their children real confidence, with those not usually sporty getting involved. Everyone can have their moment getting cheered as they cross the line and this can be a real breakthrough for many children."
Joe said their had been a great atmosphere as the children finished in a series of different age groups.
He said: "I think people are in a space where after everything we have been through they want to be out in the fresh air exercising, it is really encouraging to see them out and doing it again."
The adult Shrewsbury Half Marathon, with a new metric half added to the mix, will be held on October 9.