The Shropshire Primary Schools Half Marathon took place on Saturday 6th April 2019 and was a wonderful day of achievement and celebration for hundreds of children across the region.
1,800 children from 32 schools had signed up to run the final 1.1 mile of their Schools Half Marathon at Shropshire County Showground, having already completed the initial 12 miles at school over the previous weeks and months.
The children were treated to a full race experience, with a marshalled 1.1-mile route around the Showground, race bibs, music, commentator and a finish gantry – to say nothing of incredible support from friends, family, guardians and teachers who cheered them on as they made their way round and crossed the finish line. There were excited scenes of celebration as the children aged between 4-11 received their hard-earned half marathon medals and celebrated their amazing achievement.
The great thing about Schools Half Marathon is its non-competitive and inclusive nature, meaning that children of all abilities are able to take part and experience the joy of achieving something as significant as a half marathon.
A trial involving 75 children from two schools took place in Shrewsbury in 2017, and the 2018 event saw 900 children from 21 schools across Shropshire complete the first Schools Half Marathon as part of Shrewsbury Half Marathon weekend. Schools Half Marathon is now a stand alone event and part of the Schools Running Movement.
The success of the 2019 event in Shropshire is a fantastic precursor to the other Schools Half Marathon events taking place across the UK this year: Telford and Wrekin (15th June), Brighton and Hove (22nd June), Stockport (1st July) and West Sussex (14th July). More locations are due to be announced for 2020.
Organisers UK Run Events have recently confirmed a three-year partnership with leading ethical water brand One Water, with further partnerships to be announced soon.
Schools Half Marathon Race Director Joe Williams commented, “We are thrilled with the turnout and support for the 2019 Shropshire Primary Schools Half Marathon. To have doubled our numbers since last year and to see so many children cross the finish line after weeks of preparing for the event is just wonderful, and they can all wear their medals with pride. We are committed to taking Schools Half Marathon national and it all started in my hometown of Shrewsbury!”
Schools Half Marathon Director Rebecca Richardson added, ”Schools Half Marathon is committed to encouraging healthy habits for the future, and the positive response that we have received from schools shows that the initiative really is making a difference. We would like to congratulate all the children for their incredible achievement this weekend, and our thanks go to all the teachers, parents, guardians, volunteers and partners who have contributed to the success of the event.”