Just weeks after running the Great South Run, the Mayor of Gosport, Councillor Chris Carter is donning his running shoes to compete in the Gosport Half Marathon taking place this coming Sunday, 20 November.
Starting the Half Marathon is a job the Mayor of Gosport usually undertakes every year. But this year, the Mayor will not only start the race – officially – but run it too, raising money for his charities which include the Soldier, Sailors and Air Force Association (SSAFA); Young People and the Vulnerable in Gosport.
The race, which starts and finishes in Browndown Road, just around the corner from the Race HQ at Bay House School, will see runners head out towards Cherque Way before heading into Deadalus for the first of 2 laps. They will then run around the outside of the airfield into Stubbington before heading south towards Lee seafront, where they do a second lap of Daedalus before joining the Lee prom and heading back towards Browndown and the finish.
“The number of runners currently stands at 1650, which is slightly lower than last year’s record number, but does include some overseas entries from Canada and Germany,” said Dave Little, Race Director.
“We are delighted that the Mayor has agreed to not only officially start the race for us as Mayor of the town, but to actually then start and finish it as a competitor.”
A keen runner, this is the Mayors second challenge in a month, as he is keen to do his bit to raise money for the charities he feels passionate about helping, saying: “I recently put together a team to take part in the Great South Run, part of a challenge between myself and the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth. Then it came up about my ‘officially’ starting the Gosport Half Marathon and I thought to myself, well if I can still walk after the Great South Run I wouldn’t mind running the Half Marathon and so here I am! I have some great charities this year so if anyone would like to sponsor me I would be delighted to accept their support. They can drop any money into my secretary at the Town Hall where it will be very greatly received.”
Leading racers are expected to complete the race in around 1.05 – 1.08 meaning they’ll cross the line just after 11.00. Last year’s winner Tom Payn will be hoping to make it 3 successive victories.
As well as the main event there is also a 1.2k Fun Run aimed mainly at under 12’s. Entries for this race, which starts at 10.20am,and will be started by the Mayoress, are taken on the day as parent/guardian permission is required and the entry fee is £2.
“We have always been proud of our working relationship with Gosport Borough Council who has helped the race grow over the years,” added Dave. “We’re delighted the Mayor has agreed to start the race and then join the field to complete the run, which is a definite first for us. We wish him well and an enjoyable experience!”