ABP Southampton half marathon athletes given star status at awards at St Mary’s Stadium
TRAILBLAZING athletes triumphing in Southampton’s biggest mass running event in a generation received star treatment at a flagship awards ceremony.
Fastest runners in the ABP Southampton Half Marathon and 10K took to the podium for a second time at a celebratory bash at St Mary’s Stadium.
The awards party was thrown by race organisers Marafun UK to thank runners, sponsors and Mile Maker volunteer groups, supporting what was the biggest spectacle of its kind since the Great South Run launched in the city in 1990.
And it came as organisers revealed 1,000 people have already signed up to next year’s race – within a month of the curtain coming down on this year’s extravaganza.
Capacity will be increased from 6,000 to 10,000 for next year’s event to accommodate 6,000 people in the main 13.1-mile route, 3,000 in the 10K and 1,000 in a new children’s run.
More than 25,000 people took to the streets to cheer on athletes in the inaugural run on April 26.
The Daily Echo-backed race raised more than £100,000 for local and national charities and good causes.
Race director Chris Rees (above) thanked lead sponsors ABP, his army of volunteers and city residents, telling the audience: “We have shown how well all sectors of the city can come together and work together so we can all create something great.”
“We want 10,000 runners next year and 600 Mile Makers and now 1,000 runners have already signed up.”
Southampton’s new Mayor, Cllr Linda Norris said:“It’s going to be the major event Southampton can be proud of and it is going to be up there with the Portsmouth Great South Run.
Simon Rhodes, chairman of Future Southampton, added: “This was a superb event and we should be very proud of it. It shows the power of a dream and the determination to get it made.
“If you build it they will come.”
Next year’s half marathon takes place on Sunday, April 24., which also falls on the same days as the London Marathon.
Earlybird entries cost £24.99 and £17.99 for the 10K.
Sign up at abpsouthamptonhalf.co.uk.