For the first time ever, Dorchester is to host a national marathon with a route set to go through the town, surrounding villages and countryside.
Athletes are expected to come from near and far to try out the new course, which will take place over the Bank Holiday weekend on 28th May alongside a half marathon distance.
Catriona Fountain, part of the organising committee, said the Dorchester Marathon was inspired by other local events including the Giants Head Marathon at Sydling St Nicholas, now in its fifth year. Dorchester also has the honour of hosting the first road race organised by White Star Running, which has until now focused on trail races.
Andy Palmer of White Star Running said: ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre a running organisation with a heart. We put our runners first and we want this to be Dorset‚Äôs premier running event, but we also want to put something back into the community.‚Äù
The Dorchester Marathon will raise funds for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and runners can also raise money for their own causes. Some 1,500 runners had registered for the event by March 2017 and with new entrants every week, organisers said they expected numbers to reach 1,800 by race day.
Marathon runners will gather at Cokers Frome Farm, which will serve as the race village base and also the start and finish point for race day. A post-race party will also be held at the farm for marathon runners and a new beer has even been brewed to mark the inaugural running event.
Catriona, who will make her marathon debut on the Dorchester course, said: ‚ÄúIt is very much a weekend event and athletes are invited to join a barn dance on the Sunday night.‚Äù
Local people are also being encouraged to join in the fun.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs great for local people to get involved and help out either as volunteer marshals or to come along on the day to cheer on the runners. e support of the crowds is so valuable and means a lot to the runners,‚Äù she said.
If you‚Äôre not race- fit to take part, Catriona said the organising committee have already talked about repeating the Dorchester Marathon in 2018!
For more information please visit the website at www.dorchestermarathon.co.uk