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Record field of runners expected for half marathon
8:40am Friday 6th September 2013 in News
A RECORD field of runners is expected to hit the start line for the fifth Spire Healthcare English Half Marathon on Sunday.
And there will be plenty to entertain crowds who turn up to cheer the runners on.
The race is named organised by Bold Street based Contest Sports.
Director Rob Griffiths said: "I personally got involved with the race as a runner in 2010, despite a complete wash out with the weather, I saw the potential that the event had and what benefits it could bring to Warrington."
With 2,500 entrants for the half marathon and 500 for the LiveWire Mile Challenge, there will be a significant increase on participation levels of 2012, where there was 1,200 runners on the start line.
Rob added: "Around 40 per cent of our runners are from Warrington, the rest is made up of runners from all four corners of the UK. We have a number of runners from Europe and one from New Zealand."
The event starts at 8.40am when the RAF Falcons drop into the park from 10,000ft. Once safely grounded they will have a quick change and then run in the half marathon which starts at 9am.
Within the park there will be more than 40 stall holders including a food festival showcasing a variety of treats from hog roasts, Greek, African cuisine and locally produced ice cream.
Organisers have teamed up with Wire FM to bring a live music stage with performances from acts such as Conquer Rio, Harlee Sudworth, Specs and Kim Jennett.
And there will be a sport zone with lots of free taster sessions for all.
Nick White, Party in the Park organiser said: "I would like to thank the whole community who have supported us in putting together The Party In The Park.
“It is a concept that we believe can only grow. The aim is to make the event accessible to the whole community - not just runners. It is very much a Warrington event."
AROUND 500 people are set to take part in The LiveWire Family Mile Challenge on Sunday.
The mile route uses the same and start finish locations as the half marathon with Victoria Park and the concept is the brainchild of Half Marathon community engagement manager, Nick White and LiveWire managing director Jan Souness.
Jan said: “LiveWire is very proud to be supporting the English Half Marathon and the LiveWire Mile this Sunday. It will be great to watch and support all those running. The LiveWire Mile is open to all ages, so there’s no better excuse to get the whole family involved.”
Entry is £2.50 online at livewirewarrington.co.uk/mile or on the day.
WHEELCHAIR fencing champion Adrian Derbyshire will be taking on the course on his hand trike.
The Great Sankey man has worked with event organisers to ensure that 13.1 mile route is accessible for his challenge.
He said: "Some of the route wasn't entirely accessible for me or other disabled participants.
“Myself and organisers are very grateful that the police have worked with us to create a route that allows me to get up to the 13.1 mile distance."
Adrian is using the English Half Marathon to highlight his campaigns against Hate Crime. His trike will also be used in a Lands End to John O'Groats challenge with fellow Paralympian Richard Whitehead.
In training, Adrian has clocked up very fast times for the 13.1 mile distance - 42 minutes.
Race director Rob Griffiths said: "Adrian has caused me a very nice headache.
“He is so fast on his trike that we have had to adjust some of our operational plans, to ensure that we can keep him, other runners and spectators safe.
“He is an inspiration and I look forward to working with Adrian to get a totally accessible English Half Marathon route for disabled athletes of all levels next year."
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