While most people are enjoying a welcome break from work this Christmas, organisers of the ABP Southampton Marathon are in the midst of their busiest time of the year.
The festive season has seen a spike of entries into the annual running event, which also features a 10k, half marathon and one-mile fun run distance.
Organisers estimate entries to the event have doubled compared to the previous month.
Race director Chris Rees said: “Between Christmas and the end of January is becoming a really busy time for us as people look for something to aim towards in the New Year. It seems the abundance of mince pies, roast dinners and chocolate takes its toll eventually and gives people that motivation they need to get fit!”
Chris adds that the timing of the event – on May 5 – could be another reason for its popularity with people around Christmas. “It’s close enough to give a very focused goal but it’s also far enough away to give people time to train, even if they’ve never run before,” he said.
The ABP Southampton Marathon has grown in popularity every year since its inception in 2015. This year it takes place on Sunday, May 5, giving runners the Bank Holiday Monday on the following day to rest their weary legs.
Details on the exact route are expected to be released nearer the time, although last year’s event saw runners take in sights such as St Mary’s Stadium, Itchen Bridge, Riverside Park and Southampton Common.
The event has gained a reputation as one of the cheeriest and well-supported running events in the South. Tens of thousands of people flock to the city to cheer on runners every year and an army of up to 850 ABP Milemakers volunteer along the route with everything from cheering and drumming to singing and cheerleading.