The Southampton Marafun is set to be one of the city's biggest-ever sporting events

The launch of the Southampton half-marathon

The launch of the Southampton half-marathon

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Political reporter

MORE than one thousand people have already signed up to take part in one of the biggest sporting events in Southampton’s recent history.

The Southampton Marafun half-marathon may still be nine months away, but 1,500 people have already registered to take part.

Taking place on April 26, the race route will take in some of the city’s most iconic sights, such as the Bargate, St Mary’s Stadium and the Itchen Bridge.

Beginning in Hoglands Park, it will travel north to The Common, continue east to Bitterne and then return to the city centre, before finishing in Guildhall Square.

Runners of all abilities and ages will be involved, with about 6,000 people expected to take part in the 21k-long half-marathon.

There will also be a 10k run It is taking place at the same time as the London Marathon, but organisers believe that will boost numbers as people who had wanted to do the event in the capital but were unable to will be able to come to Southampton instead.

Event director Chris Rees said: “While marathon runners will be clocking up the miles in London we are offering people a great opportunity to take part in either a 10k event or a half marathon.

“It is the first time in more than 30 years since Southampton has hosted an event of this kind and we have worked closely with the city council to provide races which will appeal to a wide range of runners and provide a varied, interesting route on closed roads.’’

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