There are just five weeks for prospective entrants to secure a number for the ABP Southampton Marathon and Half Marathon on Sunday, 22 April. Entries will close on Thursday, 15 March and another capacity field of 10,000 are expected to toe the line.
ABP Southampton Marathon is held on the same day as Virgin Money London Marathon, so offers a haven to London ballot rejects. The marathon was added to the existing half marathon, 10k and kid's fun run last year and proved an instant hit. Part of the attraction is the spectacular course including a double crossing of the famous Itchen Bridge, with far reaching views across the Solent.
The longer races also pass through St Mary's Stadium, home to Premiership football club Southampton FC. Participants will run alongside the pitch that has been graced by so many Saints legends. Former players Matt le Tissier and Franny Benali and club chairman Ralph Krueger are among those who have run 13.1 miles to raise money for Saints Foundation.
Philanthropy is at the heart of this community focussed event and Southampton Hospital Charity has been named as lead local charity for ABP Southampton Marathon 2018. Runners have raised £65,000 for this cause since 2015 and hope to take this total beyond £100,000 with this year's efforts.
Chris Rees, race director, said: “The event has become a firm fixture on Southampton’s sporting calendar and we’re thrilled that the city’s biggest sporting venue is involved yet again. We can’t wait to open the gates to St Mary’s on race day and give runners the unique opportunity to run alongside the pitch.”
Toby Steele, Managing Director of Southampton FC, added: “We are delighted to be able to welcome Southampton’s biggest running event through the gates at St Mary’s again. As one of the runners this year, I am really looking forward to taking part in what is always a great sporting event that helps to raise money for so many worthwhile causes in the local community.”
Image courtesy ABP Southampton Marathon