Southampton is getting back in its stride this weekend with the ABP Marathon taking place on Sunday (April 23).It’s the first full marathon the city has seen in more than 30 years and it’s attracted 10,000 participants. Held on the same day as the Virgin Money London Marathon it’s giving local runners an alternative to pounding the capital’s pavements.
On the day there will be four distance events;
- ABP full marathon (26.2 miles)
- ABP Half marathon (13.1 miles)
- ABP 10k
- ABP one mile family fun run
This year’s route will take participants in the opposite direction to previous years. For the first time ever, runners will take on three of the city’s bridges; Cobden, Northam and the famously-tough Itchen Bridge. It will also go through St Mary’s Stadium, giving participants the unique experience of running alongside the pitch that has been trodden on by some of the greatest football players in the UK.
An incredible 30,000 visitors are expected to head to the city centre, boosting the South Coast economy by an estimated£750,000.
Also benefiting from the event are a range of local and national charities which are set to receive half a million pounds that’s been fundraised by runners. Over £300,000 in sponsorship has already been kindly donated.
Making it all possible is the Rees Leisure Team, race sponsors ABP and the wonderful volunteers. This year 850 people have dedicated valuable time and expertise to make this year’s ABP Southampton Marathon a reality.
At intervals around the course are ‘ABP Milemakers’, an army of helpers on hand doing everything from giving out water to cheering runners when they need a bit of motivation.
Chris Rees, race director for the ABP Marathon said:
“This is our third year of running the event and it’s fair to say it’s our biggest and most ambitious yet. As well as adding a full marathon distance, we’ve increased the entry capacity to 10,000 people.
“The sheer sight of that many runners is set to be a huge spectacle and we hope as many residents as possible will come out of their homes to cheer on runners.”
Chris added: “We appreciate that there will inevitably be some disruption as we put on the biggest ABP Southampton Marathon event to date. However, we’ve worked closely with the council and public transport firms to ensure the city is still very much open for business on April 23.”
To sign up or find out more about the event visit www.abpsouthamptonhalf.co.uk.