The 37th annual Brentwood Half Marathon and Fun Run event on Sunday 18th March was cancelled this year for the first time in its history following an amber weather warning in the area and advice from the race referee, the British Association of Road Races and medics.
“It would not have been pleasant conditions for even the most prepared runners and some parts of the course are relatively high and exposed. We also have to think of the less experienced and slower runners plus over 300 volunteers (some of whom are quite young) that turn out on the day and have the disadvantage of having to stay in one place. We would have been placing them at considerable risk.” Bob Davey, Race Director.
This is the first year that Sportstiks and Baker Labels has sponsored the event and had worked closely with the organisers over the last 9 months to plan the event and support the partner charities. The team know how much time and effort goes into arranging such a big event but despite being incredibly disappointed at the event being cancelled, they fully supported the decision as soon as there was a serious risk to runners and volunteers.
The team at Sportstiks and Baker Labels empathised fully with everyone affected. “We had a team of over 50 runners entered in both the half marathon and fun run to fundraise for Kids Inspire and Georgia’s Teenage Cancer Appeal so we have felt the pain from all perspectives. As sponsors it’s been upsetting to not show everyone how we have been involved in planning the event and adding our flair to things; as a team of runners who have put in hours and miles of training it’s been infuriating to feel that the training was for nothing and as close supporters of two of the partner charities we have felt the concern from them that they will no longer receive the sponsorship and donations promised.”
Knowing how they felt and having worked closely with athletes and charities, a team from Sportstiks and Baker Labels went to the finish line on Sunday to see if anyone was mad enough to still run in the freezing conditions without support from marshals, medics or water supplies.
An incredible number of about 40 hardy and experienced runners did indeed run the course and were cheered across the “finish line” by Mandy and Steve Baker. One of the runners was Crispian Bloomfield, a previous multiple winner of the event who was determined to run having competed every year since 1991. The runners were delighted to have a cheer squad at the finish line, ready with water and the unused FINISH banner!
Thank you so much for your support last Sunday. We were extremely delighted that you and others members of the Brentwood half marathon were there despite the freezing weather.
Firstly just to say thank you for all your support on Sunday. We took the brave decision to run but fully understood the risks involved. We were so grateful that you came out in the freezing temperatures to offer help and cheer us in at the end.
Such a same for you and your teams that the race was cancelled. It’s clear how much work and effort goes in to an event like the Brentwood Half. Totally agree with your comments, having run the course on Sunday morning cancelling was the right decision.
I did have my support team at the finish line to cheer me home. Already looking forward to next years race and being supported by Sportstiks and Baker Labels
Fun Runners collected medals after the Brentwood Parkrun on Saturday 24th March
As well as the opportunity to upload evidence of the distance they have run, Brentwood Fun Runners were able to collect a medal from the Sportstiks and Baker Labels team on Saturday 24th March if they completed the Brentwood Park Run and showed their race numbers to our team.
Over 50 fun runners took up the challenge of a very muddy 5km run to earn their medal. Two of the runners, Samuel Turner and his friend Angel Jolly were planning to run the Fun Run for charity Cerebra who support children with brain conditions but took up the cross country challenge instead, completing the course in just over an hour.