Telford schoolchildren on their marks for half marathon
Hundreds of children will get on their marks for the Telford & Wrekin Primary Schools Half Marathon later this year.
The event takes takes place on June 15 and sees the youngsters run the final 1.1 miles of their own school race, having run the first 12 miles at school over the spring and summer terms.
They will be meeting at Oakengates athletics track in Telford to finish the task.
For many, it will be their first experience of a big sporting event and a chance to run together in front of teachers, guardians, family and friends.
Oakengates track is a popular facility for local schools and the youngsters will be treated to a full race experience, including race bibs, a marshalled 1.1-mile route, music, commentator and a start and finish line gantry.
As they cross the finish line the children will receive a medal and be able to celebrate the achievement of running their very own half marathon. A number of schools have already signed up for the event, with more than 240 children confirmed so far.
Participating schools include William Reynolds Primary School, Redhill Primary Academy, John Fletcher of Madeley Primary School, St Lawrence CE Primary School, Wrockwardine Wood Junior School, St Matthew’s CE Primary School, St Patrick’s Catholic Primary and Tibberton CE Primary School. More are expected to sign up over the coming weeks.
The first official Schools Half Marathon took place in Shropshire as part of Shrewsbury Half Marathon weekend, in June 2018.
The event welcomed 900 children from 21 schools, and proved such a success that Schools Half Marathon has now become a nationwide initiative.
Other events confirmed for 2019 include Shropshire, which is set to welcome more than 1,800 children on April 6, Brighton and Hove, on June 22, Stockport, on July 1, and West Sussex, on July 14.
Schools Half Marathon race director Joe Williams said: “We are thrilled to launch the Telford & Wrekin Primary Schools Half Marathon and to have received such support and enthusiasm for the initiative so far. We are delighted to welcome eight schools already and have received lots of interest from many more.
“It is fantastic to see local primary school children get started on their very own half marathon challenge and to reward them along the way as they complete their miles. From the very youngest at four years old right through to age 11, Schools Half Marathon is a great way to get kids outside and away from screens, taking part in a fun, shared activity with an exciting end goal.”
For information visit https://www.schoolshalfmarathon.co.uk/
The launch follows the announcement that the borough's main athletics track in Oakengates is to receive a £100,000 investment ahead of an anticipated surge in interest in athletics after the next Commonwealth Games due in 2022.