On your marks for Bracknell Half Marathon
April 25, 2008
Hundreds of runners will take over Bracknell's streets on Sunday for the annual half marathon.
Up to 1,000 enthusiastic runners are expected at the 9am start of the gruelling 13.2-mile race at South Hill Park.
Participants will include professional racers looking to break a record but also charity fundrasiers, first-timers and regular runners looking for a personal challenge.
Here, Bracknell Forest Standard sporty reporters Lorna Catling and Mike Pyle, who will be running the half marathon with editor Alison Hepworth and digital media executive Tom Canning, give the low-down on the event.
All the runners who have signed up for have their own reasons for doing it, whether as a hobby or training for even longer races or as a fundraiser for charity.
Wendy Fallon, who is due to toe the start line on Sunday, said: “Like most people I love to eat and usually I had no problem in maintaining a certain weight.
"However, after becoming a mum and reaching a certain age, I noticed it was harder to find time or the enthusiasm for the gym and staying in shape.”
After seeing posters Wendy joined a novice running group run by expert John Stafford based at Bracknell Leisure Centre in Bagshot Road.
“I was slightly worried when I turned up to the first group run," she said.
"However, everyone was very friendly and John has slowly built up the amount of time that we run and running has become quite fun.
“Through John’s encouragement, a couple of us have decided to enter the half marathon just to see if we can do it.
"I am not bothered by the time it takes, I just would like to finish it.”
Steve Barnett, 38, of Van Dyke in Great Hollands, also entered the race as a novice.
“My blood pressure was dangerously high," he said.
"My doctor told me I was lucky not to have suffered a stroke or a heart attack.
"It was a wake up call for me, I realised I was seriously overweight and unfit.
"I was 18 stone and I was out of breath and sweaty just by walking up a couple of stairs.”
Steve also joined Mr Stafford’s running group.
He said: “I was not sure if I would enjoy running, but as the weeks progressed I found myself becoming stronger at running and finding it more enjoyable.”
Steve added: “To complete the Bracknell Half Marathon will be a great personal achievement.
"This time last year I couldn’t even run one mile, let alone 13 miles.
"I do not expect to break any records, I just want to achieve something I never thought I would be able to do.”
- The weather.
It is looking like runners will have the weather on their side, with a forecast of sunshine and a few clouds and temperatures between 12C and 16C.
- The roads.
The race will start and finish at South Hill Park and roads across town will be closed.
From 9am large sections of Ringmead and South Hill Road will be closed to allow the race to start.
Western Road, between Easthampstead Road and Downmill Road, will be closed from about 9.15am until the last runner is expected to pass through at around 10.15am.
Binfield Road, from Jocks Lane to the Harvest Ride Roundabout, will be closed from about 9.15am until the last runner is expected at about 10.30am.
The road closures will be signposted and stewarded - alternative routes will be clearly indicated.
- Check out running expert John Stafford's latest training tips in the Bracknell Half Marathon section of this website.