|Ealing's First Half-Marathon Makes Top Ten|
Professional accolade for the borough's first ever race
The Ealing Half Marathon has been named among the top 10 races of its kind in the country by readers of Runner’s World magazine and website.
The monthly publication’s yearly polls are based on feedback from those who have taken part in events across the UK.
Race organiser Kelvin Walker said it was a real accolade – and a great reflection on the people of Ealing who volunteered or supported runners.
“For a new event like ours to make it into the Runner’s World half marathon top 10 is something we wouldn’t have dared to have thought about last year,” he said.
“Much of the feedback touched on the efficient and friendly marshals and we owe a debt of thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who gave up their Sunday morning to help the race go smoothly.
“And many people commented on the atmosphere around the streets. We couldn’t believe how many people took time out to cheer on competitors and it really did make a difference to the runners.”
The poll honour follows the news the inaugural event raised more than £140,000 for charity.
In highlighting the “impeccably done” 13.1-mile race, Runner’s World said the Ealing Half Marathon had proved “love at first sight” for most competitors. The magazine also singled out the start and finish area around “pretty Lammas Park” for praise.
Senior writer Kerry McCarthy wrote: “I loved the intelligent, wide route, the surprisingly large crowds and the well-laid out race village.”
The race scored 91% for atmosphere, 96% for organisation and 85% for beginner friendliness. It was given an overall score of 94%, with the vast majority of competitors saying they would do it again.
One local runner’s feedback read: “The support from marshals and residents, all around the course, was amazing – made me feel very proud of Ealing.”
Despite the praise, the race team are keen to make improvements for the 2013 event which takes place on September 29.
Work is ongoing to enhance the route, with the aim of lessening the impact on residents and taking in more parkland to allow up to 6,000 people to take part.
The race will remain traffic-free and again follow a single lap through parts of central Ealing, Montpelier, Pitshanger, West Ealing, Hanwell and St Stephens before returning to Lammas Park via Walpole Park.
Meanwhile, entries have opened with people already snapping up and “early bird” discount of £5 on the usual £32 race fee for affiliated club members and £34 for the unaffiliated.
The discount is available to the first 1,000 people to sign up.
“For those people making a new year’s resolution to get fit, having a target like a half marathon to aim for is a great motivator,” said Mr Walker.
For further details, log on to www.ealinghalfmarathon.com. People can also join the Facebook page www.facebook.com/ealinghalf and follow @EalingHalf on Twitter to keep up to date with the latest news.
23rd November 2012