Swindon Town manager Paolo Di Canio will be supporting runners at this year’s Nationwide Swindon Half Marathon by taking on the role of official starter.
The Town boss will sound the hooter for the 13.1-mile half marathon, five-mile multi terrain and two-mile fun run on Sunday, 9 October (9-10-11).
And he will be joined by another familiar face from the club as the team’s popular mascot Rockin’ Robin will also be taking part in the half marathon in his full costume.
“I am very happy to be supporting such a great sporting event for Swindon,” said Paolo. “The support I have received from people in Swindon has been fantastic since I arrived, so I am pleased to help out. Good luck to everyone who is training for the event and I will see you all on the big day.”
Cllr Keith Williams, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and Corporate Services, said: “I am delighted Paolo has kindly agreed to start the three races as I’m sure it will give everyone taking part a huge boost.
“The half marathon continues to go from strength to strength and I would remind anyone who is thinking of taking part in the half marathon or the smaller races there is still time to get your entries in.”
Organised by Swindon Borough Council, the half marathon starts on the southern edge of Swindon and winds its way through some of the prettiest neighbouring villages, taking in outstanding views, which more than compensate for the undulating parts of the course the runners face before heading back into the town.
Event registrations, including on-the-day entries for the multi-terrain and fun run will be administered by Sports Systems and Macmillan Cancer Support will be the half marathon’s main charity this year.
Half marathon competitors must be aged 17 or over on race day and anyone running the multi-terrain must be 15 years or over. The two-mile fun run is for all the family but children under eight must be accompanied by an adult who has also entered the race.
All finishers in all of the races will receive a medal and t-shirt along with the satisfaction and achievement of crossing the finish line. There will also be prize money for the top placed half marathon runners, while pacemakers will also once again be employed.
This year’s event will feature the Sandy Martin Fancy Dress Competition Trophy, which will be awarded to the runner wearing the most original, imaginative or funny fancy dress costume.
The competition is being held in memory of BBC Wiltshire’s Sandy Martin who passed away earlier this year.
Anyone wishing to take part in this year’s Nationwide Swindon Half Marathon should call the registration line on 01793 465401 or log onto: www.swindonhalfmarathon.co.uk
Entries will be taken up to midnight on 5 October. There are no registrations on the day.
Images by Richard Wintle of Calyx