Wednesday, 28 July 2021

2,000 runners expected for half marathon

MORE than 2,000 runners are expected to compete in the Henley half marathon on Sunday, October 13.

MORE than 2,000 runners are expected to compete in the Henley half marathon on Sunday, October 13.

The 31st race and the accompanying Henley Standard 10km will start and finish at Henley Rugby Club, beginning at 9.30am.

The half-marathon course goes through Henley over the bridge and along the Thames before crossing the river again and taking runners up Fawley Hill and back to the rugby club.

A minor change has been made to the course at the Flowing Spring pub in Aston.

Among the entrants are seven-times winner Ben Reynolds, of Vicarage Road, members of the parent-teacher associations at Valley Road and Sacred Heart primary schools, a team from Henley’s French twin town of Falaise and more than 50 employees of London hotel group Cubitt House. The race raises money for the RNLI and there will be representatives from a number of charities, including Sue Ryder, the Child Bereavement Charity and the Samaritans taking part.

Children from local groups, including the Henley sea cadets, air cadets and Eyot Centre, as well as students from The Henley College and Shiplake College, will be volunteering as marshals.

The event is organised by the Rotary Club of Henley Bridge and is sponsored by Invesco Perpetual. Organiser Peter Wilkinson said it had grown over the years and both races were now timed using electronic chips.

“I think everyone appreciates the splendor of the course,” he said. “We get a lot of volunteers to support it and the feedback is that it’s well-organised. It’s used by a lot of organisations and groups to raise funds for their own good causes, which we welcome. The club is enormously proud of the event and, although it’s a lot of hard work, we have an awful lot of fun.”

Henley Mayor Stefan Gawrysiak, a member of the club, said: “It’s great for Henley because it’s a wonderful spectacle.

“We’re trying to grow the 10km race because we can actually cope with the same number of runners as in the half marathon due to the staggered start times.”

The closing date for online entries is Wednesday, September 25. A limited number of entries are available before 8.30am on the day at a cost of £25 for the half marathon and £20 for the 10km.

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