THE founder of the Goring 10km is returning to the village to launch this year’s race.
Former postman Clive Wiltshire, who organised the first run in 1997, will fire the starting gun at 11am on Sunday, March 3.
He will also present the prizes after the race.
Mr Wiltshire was invited back by Goring Primary School’s parent teacher association, which took over organisation of the event in 2003.
He organised the first run when he worked at Goring sorting office. During his six years at the helm, the number of entrants soared from 112 to 1,350.
Mr Wiltshire, from Upper Basildon, said: “It’s very nice to be coming back, although I try to go most years to encourage the runners.”
Since the handover, the association has limited places to 1,200. So far this year, 800 people have registered.
The race is now the association’s biggest fund-raiser and brings in at least £7,000 annually. This year’s proceeds will help fund the renovation of the school pool, which could cost up to £20,000.
The race will start outside Storton Lodge in Icknield Road and finish at Bourdillon Field behind the school.
There will be children’s entertainment and a temporary playground in Bourdillon Field. There will also be live music and stalls selling refreshments and sports gear.
The race is sponsored by several Goring businesses including Warmingham estate agents, solicitors Richard Wilson Long, Pierreponts cafe and the Leatherne Bottel restaurant.
After the run, Knead Treatment of Ipsden will be offering sports massages to runners in return for a £5 donation.
Paul Scott, one of the organisers, said: “With the exception of the Christmas Eve torch procession, the Goring 10km is probably the biggest event in the village’s calendar. It’s very popular because it’s nicely positioned between the Reading half marathon and the London marathon. It has also made a fantastic financial contribution to the association over the years.”
Last year, the race was started by British Olympic kayaker Paul Wycherley and more than 900 runners battled through the rain to raise £7,000 for the school.
Gareth Watkins set a new course record when he finished in 33 minutes and 44 seconds.
This year’s deadline for online registration is February 28, although limited places may be available on the day.
Entry is £16 or £14 for members of athletics clubs.For more information and to register, visit www.goring10k.co.uk