UKRunChat, the organisers of the Oswestry Half Marathon, have confirmed that all places have sold out for the inaugural event on 30th April 2017.
It has also been announced that the Oswestry Mayor Councillor Paul Milner will be the official starter of the race and will send the runners on their way by pulling the chord on a cannon.
Shropshire brass band Porthywaen Silver Band will be playing at the start line, contributing to the buzzing atmosphere prior to the start of the race and building up to that moment when the start cannon of the first ever Oswestry Half Marathon will go off at 9.30am.
Another unique point, in addition to being amongst the participants of the first ever Oswestry Half Marathon at such a unique place like the British Ironwork Centre, is the bespoke hand-sculpted gorilla medal that all finishers will be presented with.
British sculptor Joe Bailey, one of the country’s leading sculptors – his work including Wedgwood and other big names – designed the prototype for the medals. Made of metal, the eye-catching medals will be sprayed in gold and based on the amazing spoon gorilla, making a unique memento and a well-earned reward for what is set to become an iconic event on the UK running calendar.
The British Ironwork Centre is home to a 12-foot-high spoon gorilla that was created for illusionist Uri Geller from over 40,000 spoons – one of which belonged to Winston Churchill, and many of which were donated by school children across the world. It is an extraordinary sculpture and highly fitting inspiration for the first Oswestry Half Marathon medals.
The spoon gorilla is just one of the many magnificent animal sculptures on display at the British Ironwork Centre. Runners entering the Oswestry Half Marathon will find themselves warming up next to life-size metal wildebeest, cheetahs, elephants and rhinos before following the 13.1-mile course through the Sculpture Park and out on the roads through Oswestry. With animal sculptures along the route, there will be plenty of inspiration for runners as they make their way round, and plenty for family and friends to enjoy as they come to support the competitors this spring.
The Half Marathon marks the beginning of a festival of Bank Holiday activities for the whole family. With food stalls, activities for children, free parking and an on-site café, the race is expected to attract plenty of athletes and supporters to its spring debut.
In addition to the unique gorilla medal, all finishers will receive a technical t-shirt and goody bag, as well as an optional pre and post-race massage. A special Spoon Gorilla medal presented on a gold chain will be awarded to the overall 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed male and female, and to the first placed male and female in the following age categories: 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65+.
Director of UKRunChat Joe Williams commented: “We are really excited to be hosting the first Oswestry Half Marathon at the British Ironwork Centre. It is a prestigious venue in a truly spectacular location, treating runners to an experience like no other. We are particularly privileged to have had Joe Bailey design the medals in honour of the spoon gorilla; these dramatic medals will be unlike any other race medal and a true collector’s item! We are hoping that many families and groups of friends will come to enjoy a fantastic day out and make the most of all that the venue has to offer.”
The Oswestry Half Marathon will be offering free event photography for all competitors through Pic2Go, which allows instant social media sharing and identification of event photos so competitors can immediately share their experiences with friends and family.
With the promise of a cannon salute at the start of the race, a silver band playing Chariots of Fire at the start line and a 20ft gold gorilla sculpture being specially created for the start line, the very first Oswestry Half Marathon will certainly open in style.
Entries for the 2017 Oswestry Half Marathon are closed.
Anyone who has missed out can enter the Shrewsbury Half Marathon on 18th June 2017, which is also organised by UKRunChat. The Shrewsbury Half provides a great mix of historic town and stunning green countryside, and entries cost £25.50 for affiliated athletes and £27.50 for non-affiliated athletes. Team entry for four runners costs £102.