THE Eastbourne Hospitality Association Half Marathon looks set for a bumper run in 2012 as keen runners look to get fit in Olympic year.
With almost 1,000 signed up already, the event is proving popular with runners, joggers and walkers, and organisers are urging even more to join in the fun and help raise money for valuable local charities.
The event, sponsored by Reid+Dean, takes place this Sunday (March 4) from Princes Park, taking in a 13-mile route along Eastbourne’s seafront and through Sovereign Harbour.
As well as raising money for local charities, business teams and the junior racers can win prizes ranging from lunch at the Grand Hotel, to Sussex attraction tickets, concert tickets, a mini corporate day at Eastbourne Borough Football Club and a weekend hire of a Mercedes.
Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism, Cllr Neil Stanley said, “This is a fantastic community event and really shows our resident runners, volunteers and local business pulling together to help raise money for charity.
“The event has grown to attract entrants from all over the UK and sometimes abroad, so it’s a great advert for the town as well.”
After last year’s success, businesses are also once again being encouraged to enter teams and compete with some friendly rivalry for the accolade of fastest team home, won last year by Mayo Wynne Baxter and The Hydro Hotel.
Younger runners can also join in a junior challenge with a 1km race for under 12s and a 2km race for under 17s, making it a great family event.
Event organiser Rupert Ashford said, “There’s still time to enter and raise some sponsorship money.
“Since starting the event we’ve raised over £100,000 for local charities, and this year two very worthy causes, Chestnut Tree House and St Wilfrid’s Hospice, will be the main beneficiaries.
“Plus of course other local charities will also benefit from the many individual runners raising sponsorship.”
The race starts at 10am on March 4 and there is still time to enter.
Postal entries close on February 29, however runners can still enter online upto noon on March 2 and even at the event.
Runners start to reach the finish line shortly after 11am, with the record time standing at 1 hour 11 minutes.
For more information visit www.EastbourneHalf.co.uk
• See this week’s Gazette and Herald for full preview, the entry form and a map showing this year’s new route.