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All set for another record-breaking day of running, fundraising & volunteering

The annual Frome Half Marathon, 10K, 5K and 1K Family Fun Run returns for its seventh year on Sunday 15th July.

Beginning in 2012, led by volunteers from Frome Running Club and Frome Rotary Club, the success of the event has seen runner numbers more than double since that first year.

Established on the national running scene and described as ‘the best little half marathon in the UK’, it’s the community spirit, friendly atmosphere and beauty of the course that runners say sets this event apart from the many large-scale, profit-driven events that fill the running calendar.

Volunteers

Helping to coordinate the local effort to deliver a brilliant race day, national company The Race Organiser work with Frome Town Council and Mendip District Council to manage temporary road closures for the 13.1 miles of route around Frome, Nunney and Whatley.

With all of that route to cover, the event is still powered by volunteers, ranging from 14 to 85 years, many involved from the very first year. Volunteers provide that famous Frome friendliness around the course, helping to keep runners safe and feeling strong all the way to the finish line, as well as operating the baggage area, water supplies, car park and the all-important goody bag stations.

Richard Parr, director of development at The Race Organiser says, “Frome really is a brilliant place to run. The entire community gets behind the event – it wouldn’t be possible to get more than 1,000 runners around the course without the massive volunteer effort.

“This year, we’re offering £10 gift cards to every volunteer to say thank you, or donating to charities on behalf of groups of volunteers – it’s a great way to help raise more money for important causes and make sure our volunteers know how appreciated they are!”

“If you can spare between 1-4 hours on Sunday 15th July, volunteers are still needed – email contact@fromehalfmarathon.co.uk or visit the Frome Half Marathon website.”

Charities & Fundraising

Local charities feature heavily in fundraising efforts, with runners this year supporting The Pod Charity, We Hear You, Fair Frome and Somerset Sight, along with supporting some major national charities – and some eye-catching fancy dress. The charity Frome Activities and Sports Trust was set up after the third half marathon to benefit from a proportion of all entry fees, and continues to provide a community resource for any activity or sports group in the town, to use as a meeting point, club headquarters or for the storage of kit.

The event is sponsored by Sound Foundation Community Care – the Frome-based charity dedicated to supporting sound health and wellbeing in both the local community and beyond. Their team will be on hand throughout the day in the race hub at Frome Town FC to offer advice and guidance on their work.

The Races

Across the four race distances – half marathon, 10K, 5K and 1K fun run – runners from across the South West and the country will visit Frome for this year’s race, with ages ranging from 7 – 80 years. First-time runners, many of them fundraisers, running alongside experienced runners from local clubs including Frome Running Club, Avon Valley Runners and Team Bath AC, means everyone has other people to run with and be supported by.

After last year’s record-breaking year, where an extraordinary new course record was set by international Welsh athlete Andrew Davies who completed the half marathon course in 1 hour, 8 minutes and 30 seconds, all eyes will be on the front-runners in 2018 to see if his record could be broken.

Along with Andrew’s new record, in 2017, new course records were set in a number of other half marathon age and gender categories. Holly Rush of Avon Valley Runners set a new female course record with 1:24:42 and Steve Willis of Taunton AC set a new V40 Male record with 1:29:29. In the oldest of the age categories, veteran local athlete Ted Sprules of Frome Running Club shaved some seconds of the V60 male course record with 1:32:49. Prizes are awarded on race day in each of the categories Senior (16-40 years), 40+, 50+, 60+ and 70+ for both male and female winners.

Chair of Sound Foundation Community Care, Sara Williams, and Frome Town Mayor, cllr Richard Akroyd will be the official race starters and prize-givers.

Road Closures

Roads that are part of the race route will be closed to all traffic for a short period on Sunday 16th July, including most access routes to the town centre. Motorists are advised to avoid travelling between 9.30am and 1.00pm.

Diversions will be in place to get vehicles as close as possible to their destinations, with traffic management from local company, CH Contracting, to help advise and redirect motorists.

Closures begin at 9.45am and follow the order of the race route, so that roads at the beginning of the course will re-open very shortly after the race begins. Roads towards the end of the race route in the town centre will be closed for slightly longer periods, as runners become more spread out during the course of the race.

A map of the race and a full schedule of road closures, (including the time each street will be closed to traffic and the time it will be re-opened) is available at www.fromehalfmarathon.co.uk

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