Bristol warms-up for 2015 Bristol Half Marathon with official launch

People from across Bristol and beyond can put a spring in their step this month as entries for the city’s half marathon are now open.

Former Holby City actress and keen runner, Phoebe Thomas, who is currently on stage at The Bristol Old Vic in The Life and Times of Fanny Hill, will be among those taking part in a mini warm-up aerobics session at Anchor Square, Harbourside, on Wednesday, 4 March, to mark the official launch of the Bristol Half Marathon 2015.

Race organisers and the 2015 official charity partners – St Peter’s Hospice, Penny Brohn Cancer Care and Refugee Action – will be setting up a mini Race Village in Anchor Square and are encouraging their supporters to come down and join in the fun.

Sharon Layton, of Bristol City Council’s sports centre team Everyone Active, who leads the warm-up for thousands of runners on race day, will be putting them through their paces during the session.

We welcome runners of all abilities, from elites to novices, to come and enjoy the electric atmosphere of the Bristol Half

Leading road race

Now in its 27th year, the Bristol Half Marathon, which takes place on Sunday, 13 September, is the region’s leading road race, attracting up to 15,000 runners and raising thousands of pounds for charity.

The race is known for its fast, flat course around the city, taking in the harbourside and following the River Avon and up along the scenic Avon Gorge.

Thousands of spectators line the route, making the 13-mile event one of Bristol’s most popular sporting occasions.  Race organisers are expecting places to be in high demand again this year.

The hundreds of charities involved in the Bristol Half Marathon – including this year’s official charities, St Peter’s Hospice (local), Penny Brohn Cancer Care (national) and Refugee Action (international) – expect to raise more than £1million in 2015.

Bristol Half Marathon Race Director Georgette Van Hoof said:

“We are very excited about this year’s half marathon, which is always one of the highlights in Bristol’s sporting calendar. 

“We welcome runners of all abilities, from elites to novices, to come and enjoy the electric atmosphere of the Bristol Half, which sees thousands of runners and spectators take to the city’s streets.

“Anyone new to running can take advantage of the training plans on the race website, sign up for our free training sessions and also go along to their local Saturday 5k Parkrun event – in order to prepare for the 13 mile race.

“I’d like to welcome our official charities back again this year.  

“They worked with us last year and I know they will play a massive part in the success of the work with us to make the 2015 Bristol Half Marathon.”

Supporting local charities

Louisa James, Events Fundraiser at St Peter’s Hospice said:

“As Bristol’s only adult hospice, St Peter’s Hospice cares for more than 2,670 patients each year, as well as supporting family members.

“All services are provided free of charge but this care costs around £18,000 a day.

“For around £13,000 of that, the hospice relies on the generosity of public support and being named the Official Local Charity for the Bristol Half Marathon will go a long way in ensuring that we can continue caring for those in Bristol with life-limiting illnesses.

“We’re very much looking forward to seeing people take to the streets of our city to raise money for our much-loved cause.”

Paul Abbott, Director of Fundraising at Penny Brohn Cancer Care, said:

“We are absolutely thrilled to be chosen as the National Charity for the Bristol Half Marathon once again.  

Being in our home city makes this race even more special and we hope to have our biggest ever team of runners hitting the streets of Bristol and raising money for people with cancer.”

Stephen Hale, Chief Executive of Refugee Action, said: “We’re really excited to be a part of the Bristol Half Marathon again this year. It was fantastic to see the city full of people running for refugees last year and we hope this year will be even bigger and better.

“Our 20-year presence in Bristol, a celebrated city of sanctuary for people seeking safety, means we help people who have fled their homes, and are a long way from their family and friends, to live again.”