The Telford and Wrekin Schools Half Marathon took place on Saturday 15th June and welcomed more than 450 children to Oakengates Athletics Track.
The event saw the children run the final 1.1 mile of their cumulative half marathon, having completed the initial 12 miles together at school over previous weeks. The sun shone as they gathered for the final leg of their challenge and there was huge support from teachers, parents, guardians and friends as they made their way around the track, with huge cheering as they crossed the finish line and collected their hard-earned medal.
Prior to the Telford and Wrekin Schools Half Marathon, part of Schools Running Movement by UK Run Events, the event had been awarded a £2,500 Get Telford Active grant, part of a £50,000 pot from Telford & Wrekin Council. The awards are supporting sports and activities as well as road shows, workshops, taster sessions and open days around the borough in parks, community centres and sporting facilities over the next 12 months.
The grant funded a number of places for Schools Half Marathon and helped some children to take part who otherwise would not have had the chance.
Schools Half Marathon is a non-competitive and inclusive initiative that introduces exercise into the routine of primary school age pupils. The youngsters receive rewards along the way, and at the final event they are treated to a full race experience, including bibs, a marshalled 1.1-mile route, music, commentator and a finish line gantry.
The first official Schools Half Marathon took place in June 2018 in Shropshire as part of Shrewsbury Half Marathon weekend. Schools Half Marathon is now a stand-alone event and part of the nationwide Schools Running Movement by UK Run Events. The 2019 Shropshire Primary Schools Half Marathon welcomed 1,800 children from 32 schools, and further events taking place in 2019 include Brighton and Hove (22nd June) and Stockport (1st July). Live events will be available at many more locations during the school year 2019/20.
Schools Half Marathon Race Director Joe Williams commented, “We are absolutely delighted with the turnout for the Telford and Wrekin Schools Half Marathon this weekend. It was fantastic to see so many enthusiastic children complete the final 1.1 mile of their challenge and they were clearly delighted to be there with their friends and family. Each and every one of them deserved their medal after such an amazing achievement!
We would like to thank Telford and Wrekin Council for supporting the event with the Community Events Grant, which enabled a number of children to take part who would not have done so otherwise. Huge thanks also to all our volunteers and to the many parents, teachers and carers who helped to make the day such a huge success. We are looking forward to welcoming everyone again and to inspiring many more kids to get outside and active next year.”
Councillor Andy Burford, Cabinet Member for health and social care, added, “Regardless of age, background or ability, we want as many people as possible to take part in sport or activity. So we’ve helped to fund more than 20 Let’s Get Telford Active projects, led by the community, to take place this year including the half marathon.
Each one aims to provide a fun and friendly way for people to find a love for activity if they are out of practice – or even for people to get active for the first time.
The events we have funded have been developed by volunteers in communities for people in communities, and it is about everyone enjoying being active together.
We hope that the Schools Half Marathon will be bigger and better next year with more children finding a love for running.”
Go to www.schoolshalfmarathon.co.uk for further details, like UK Run Events on Facebook and follow @ukrunevents on Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest news #SchoolsHalfMarathon.
Alternatively, visit www.healthytelford.com to find out more about Let’s Get Telford Active events.