THE countdown is on for one of the most unique and rewarding half marathons in the country.
The Hanley Economic Building Society Potters ‘Arf is to take place in June and entries have been flooding in.
“We are looking really good again we had 400 turning up for the launch in January and we are well over 1,000 now,” said race organiser Ken Rushton. “On the day we could be looking at 1,800 to 2,000 taking part in all the events.”
The 13.1-mile half marathon follows a well-marshalled route, with participants gathering at Huntbach Street in Hanley, starting on Potteries Way and finishing back in the city centre near the Sir Stanley Matthews statue.
Around 30,000 people have taken part in this incredible event over the past 14 years with more than £1 million for charities.
“It is a unique race in a lot of ways,” adds Ken. “When we first started this half marathon we wanted it to be a community event. Yes, we have got the serious runners up front but there so many people come along to raise funds for local charities and it’s all so important we come together.”
One of the toughest parts of the route is said to be named ‘Heartbreak Hill’ and Ken adds: “The first big climb is Anchor Road coming out of Longton, but one we all talk about, and one the locals have named Heartbreak Hill is Milton Road. Eleven and a half miles long and you come along and all of a sudden there’s a monster hill in front of you. What’s so good is the residents of Milton Road turn out in their droves to help the runners up that hill.”
On the day walkers will start at 9am, with runners setting off at 10.30am. This year’s winner’s trophies have been made by renowned local pottery company Emma Bridgewater and everyone who finishes receives a t-shirt and goody bag, as well as a medal created by Wade Ceramics which includes a time bonus ribbon for those achieving sub-two hours, one hour 45 minutes, and one hour 30 minutes.
Becky Procter has been running for two years and will be taking part in the Potters Arf for the first time on Sunday June 9th 2019.
“I’m local to Stoke and my parents and family members have done the race before and I want to take on the challenge,” says Becky.
A 1,000-metre junior race – starting at 10.50am – is for young people aged between five and 14. This provides an opportunity for children to take part – and many previous entrants have gone on to take on the main version of the event.
**Please note runners who want to enter and get their pack in the post, the cut-off is Saturday, May 18. After that anyone signing up will have to collect their race number at the event. The final deadline to register online is 10am on Sunday, June 2.
For further details, please visit http://www.potters-arf.co.uk, email Potters.Arf@stoke.gov.uk or call 01782 235873.
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