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St Albans Half Marathon wins silver at The 2017 Running Awards!

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Our local community event, has won silver in prestigious Running Awards! The Running Awards are an nationally recognised annual event that celebrate the running community, with awards for everything from Best Blogger to Best Tech, Best Shoe, Best Marathon and of course Best Charity.

St Albans Half Marathon was shortlisted in the Top 12 for Small Half Marathons after being nominated towards the end of last year.  The awards are voted for by runners and they had some tough competition!  Race Director, Katie Foweraker, attended the Awards Ceremony at Indigo2 on Thursday 20th April, sitting alongside industry professionals such as Adidas and Nike, as well as role models such as Dame Kelly Holmes!  She was thrilled when St Albans Half Marathon was awarded Silver for Best Half Marathon (<5000 participants)!

 “We would like to thank everyone who voted, as well as everyone who supports the event.  We are a community event and pride ourselves on offering something for everyone, whether that’s the challenge of a Half Marathon or Walking Half Marathon, or the 5K and Fun Run for those just starting out.  We hope that this award brings more runners to St Albans and helps St Albans Half Marathon to raise even more money for local charities and organisations. We are absolutely blown away by this award. Our community event continues to grow in strength and we cannot wait to celebrate with all our runners on Sunday 11th June!”

The event is now in its 36th year and was founded in 1982 by local businessman, Phil Gibson, who wanted to raise money for a hospital scanner following the death of his mother from breast cancer.  The first ever race was called the Mini Marathon and was open to runners, joggers and walkers. It attracted 1,300 competitors each paying £1.00 entry fee receiving a certificate on completion. Recording the results was a labour of love for Alan Woollaston who sat on the gantry above the finishing line speaking the numbers of the finishers into a tape recorder, then working into the evening with his son to feed them into the computer. The event was deemed a great success. It was considered to be the biggest charity event ever seen in St Albans. It was hoped that it would become an annual event.  Phil Gibson now takes part in the event every year, wearing race number 1.

“It is amazing to see just how far the event has come in the last 36 years.  Phil is still heavily involved in the event and telling him that we had won the silver award almost brought us both to tears!” Says Katie Foweraker, Race Director. “I think that the event’s core values – community and charity – are what has made it so successful. In the past few years we have really tried to grow and progress the event, involving more local businesses and making it more family friendly. I think that is why our runners love it so much, it might be a standard distance but it is anything but a standard race!”

Want to take part in your local award winning community event on Sunday 11th June?  Find out more about the Half Marathon, Walking Half Marathon, 5K and Fun Run at www.stalbanshalfmarathon.co.uk

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Did you spot our article in NOW Magazine?! Read the full article below...

Resolution season is in full flow, and what better way to stick to yours than by setting a realistic, achievable goal?  Is your New Year’s Resolution something along the lines of taking on a new challenge, losing weight, or getting more active?  Then this year’s St Albans Half Marathon on Sunday 11th June 2017 is for you. 

But I can’t run!  I hear you say…
Yes you can! If you can put one foot in front of the other, you can run.  You won’t be the only novice on the start line either.  In 2016 over 40% of runners were new to the event.  If they can do it, so can you!

I don’t know how to learn!
When it comes to learning how to run, it’s all about building up your stamina over a period of time.  “Learning to run is mostly about commitment” says Katie Foweraker, Race Director of St Albans Half Marathon and founder of Athena Ladies’ Running Group.  “Setting a goal can help keep you motivated, so a lot of people find that the race in June is a perfect goal to set.  We also have a 5K and Walking Half Marathon too”. 
You can find some example training plans on our website to help you get started.  If you would rather run with company, why not grab a friend or join a running club in the local area?

What’s in it for me?
Running has endless benefits, both for your physical and mental health.  You’ll feel fitter, have more energy and might even be able to fit back into those jeans too!

You’ll be supporting your local community just by signing up too.  St Albans Half Marathon donates all profits of the event to local charities and organisations and donated over £24,000 in 2016!  You could also support a charity close to your heart by setting up a fundraising page and sharing your training progress!

So, what are you waiting for?!  Sign up now, grab your trainers and soon you’ll have the running bug just like us!  Visit www.stalbanshalfmarathon.co.uk for more information.

Oh, did we mention that you get a free ice lolly at the finish line? #icelollyrun 

 


 

Community Votes for 2017 Main Benefiting Charity! 

A few months ago we launched our Community Chosen Charity poll for a second year, and have been blown away by the response we've had! Over 4500 of you voted and we are pleased to announce that the winner and main benefiting charity for 2017 will be... Rennie Grove Hospice Care!  

Rennie Grove Hospice Care provides support and care for patients diagnosed with cancer or other life-limiting illnesses and their families.  You can read more about the charity and find out how you can run with their team by clicking here.

We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who voted for all of the shortlisted charities.  We can't wait to work with Rennie Grove Hospice Care over the next year and cheer their team over the finish line on Sunday 11th June!

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Local Primary School Starts Running Club in Preparation for St Albans Half Marathon Fun Run! 

Samuel Ryder Primary School in St Albans has its pupils – and parents – lapping the playing field in preparation for the St Albans Half Marathon 1.5k Fun Run.  Each year group has the opportunity to join a Running Club either at lunchtime or at Breakfast Club in preparation for the St Albans Fun Run.

Now in its third year, Samuel Ryder Primary School’s lunch time running club is set to launch after Easter, with the children already excited for the first session.  The aims to give pupils more confidence in their running and encourage them to enter the local St Albans Half Marathon 1.5k Fun Run.  

The running club is now the most popular club in school and is growing fast.  They have even identified early talent, with a few students’ ability shining through, and they decided to showcase all the pupils’ hard work by adding a 400m running event to their sports day.  Samuel Ryder are now hoping to join forces with local athletics clubs this year to encourage those talented students to continue running outside of school.

Lisa Davies, Head of the Primary phase commented “We were amazed at how firmly the children embraced the idea of taking part in the Fun Run but also the running clubs set up to help them. As always, the level of parental support for entering the Fun Run was huge and this lead to the children being so enthusiastic. This year we have had to put on additional clubs for the children as the numbers were so high. The running clubs have really allowed children to show case their talent for running and I am thrilled that the children take so much enjoyment from it”.       

The St Albans Half Marathon host the “Schools Challenge”, where cash prizes are given to the school who enter the most pupils into the 1.5k and 5k races.  Last year 70 pupils from Samuel Ryder entered, placing the school in 5th place.  The club is proving effective, with parents expressing their children’s excitement to be entered into the event and they’re hoping to get even more families active and participating this year! There’s even word of a Parents’ Running Club starting, to help the parents prepare too, as all children must be accompanied by an adult!  Perhaps we should call it the “keep up with the kids” race.

Katie Foweraker, Race Director of St Albans Half Marathon, commented that “One of the greatest things about this community event is that it has a lasting legacy – not only for the charities to which all proceeds are donated – but to these young children who have fun and feel motivated to get active, fit and healthy.  It’s great to see so many children being inspired and we praise Samuel Ryder School for their efforts!”

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