Improvements to be made to successful Leamington Half Marathon for next year

The inaugural Leamington Half Marathon took place recently, starting and ending near Euston Place, Leamington Spa. A Kids Run Free event was also hosted in Jephsons Gardens, during the Half Marathon race.''Pictured: GV NNL-180207-010607009
The inaugural Leamington Half Marathon took place recently, starting and ending near Euston Place, Leamington Spa. A Kids Run Free event was also hosted in Jephsons Gardens, during the Half Marathon race.''Pictured: GV NNL-180207-010607009

Improvements on how the Leamington Half Marathon could be organised next year are already being discussed by those behind the successful inaugural event after reports that some marshals suffered abuse from angry motorists.

More than 1,600 runners took part in the main race and 300 children ran in the Kids Run Free Fun Run on Sunday morning during which the warm weather tested the resolve of participants.

The inaugural Leamington Half Marathon took place recently, starting and ending near Euston Place, Leamington Spa. A Kids Run Free event was also hosted in Jephsons Gardens, during the Half Marathon race.''Pictured: GV NNL-180207-002143009

The inaugural Leamington Half Marathon took place recently, starting and ending near Euston Place, Leamington Spa. A Kids Run Free event was also hosted in Jephsons Gardens, during the Half Marathon race.''Pictured: GV NNL-180207-002143009

Despite road closures being widely communicated throughout Leamington and its surrounding areas prior to the event, the organisers were forced to start the race 40 minutes later than planned due to some drivers still being unaware of where and when they were able to travel.

Raceways, the community interest company which organised the event, are investigating to see if any marshalls suffered abuse but are not aware of any reports having been made to police.

Lisa Cope, marketing and event manager for Raceways, said: “We take on board the comments received regarding access and will consider these when looking at next year’s route.

“Given that it was an inaugural event, on the whole we’re pleased with how the event ran on the day.

The inaugural Leamington Half Marathon took place recently, starting and ending near Euston Place, Leamington Spa. A Kids Run Free event was also hosted in Jephsons Gardens, during the Half Marathon race.''Pictured: GV NNL-180207-000835009

The inaugural Leamington Half Marathon took place recently, starting and ending near Euston Place, Leamington Spa. A Kids Run Free event was also hosted in Jephsons Gardens, during the Half Marathon race.''Pictured: GV NNL-180207-000835009

“We are delighted with the positive feedback we’ve received and are already discussing ways in which the event can be improved for next year.”

Another issue raised on social media was that the event was no ‘plastic free’ as Raceways had first intended it to be.

Lisa said: “We remain committed to reducing the use of single use plastics at all of our events and working with Plastic Free Leamington & Warwick we were able to eliminate plastic cups on five of our water stations.

“Unfortunately, due to the heatwave we added two additional water stations but were unable to source 24 additional volunteers at short notice to man them or the water supply and equipment required so had to purchase bottled water for these stations to ensure our runners were hydrated along the route.

“In addition to saving on 20,000 plastic cups we’re proud to have replaced 2000 plastic goody bags with paper bags.”

Many people along the route, which included the centre of Leamington and parts of the surrounding countryside and villages, came out to cheer the runners on and offer their support.

Lisa said: “Our aim was to bring together the local and wider community and we were extremely grateful (as were our runners) to the locals (of all ages) who came out in force to support the event and cheer them on along the route; giving out sweets, drinks and spraying with water.

“We really can’t thank our 100 plus volunteers enough as without them the event would not have been possible.

“Special thanks must be given to the local scout groups, the 159 regiment Royal Logistics, Warwickshire Search and Rescue and Leamington Fire Station staff - all of whom played a vital part in the day.

“We’re currently discussing dates for next years event and will make an announcement on this in due course.”