Successful first half marathon for Telford youngsters
A first ever half marathon for youngsters in Telford has been welcomed as a great way to introduce youngsters to running.
Teachers, parents, family and friends cheered on as more than 450 children completed the final leg of the first ever Telford and Wrekin Schools Half Marathon last weekend at Oakengates Athletics Track – another event in the Let’s Get Telford Active programme.
The challenge saw children run the final 1.1 mile of a cumulative half marathon, having completed the initial 12 miles at school over previous weeks.
Funding from Telford & Wrekin Council’s Get Telford Active £2,500 grant ensured places for some children to take part who otherwise would not have had chance to join in.
The council pot of £50,000 aims to encourage community-led activities, creating more chances for people to have a go at different activities and find something they love.
The Telford and Wrekin Schools Half Marathon, part of Schools Running Movement by UK Run Events, organises the inclusive activity that builds daily exercise into the routine of primary school pupils.
The youngsters receive rewards along the way and at the final event are treated to a full race experience, including bibs, a marshalled 1.1-mile route, music, commentator and finish line gantry.
Councillor Andy Burford, cabinet member for health and social care, said: “Regardless of age, background or ability, we want as many people as possible to take part in sport or activity. So we’ve helped to fund more than 20 Let’s Get Telford Active projects, led by the community, to take place this year including the half marathon.
“Each one aims to provide a fun and friendly way for everyone to find a love for activity if they are out of practice – or even for people to get active for the first time.
“The events we have funded have been developed by volunteers in communities for people in communities and is about everyone enjoying being active together.
“We hope that the schools half marathon will be bigger and better next year with more children finding a love for running.”
Schools Half Marathon race director Joe Williams said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the turnout for the Telford and Wrekin Schools half marathon this weekend.
“It was fantastic to see so many enthusiastic children who were clearly delighted to be there with their friends and family. Every one of them deserved their medal.
“We would like to thank the council’s support for the event through the Let’s Get Telford Active campaign, our volunteers and the many parents, teachers and carers who helped make the day such a success.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone again and inspiring many more children to get outside and active next year.”