COVENTRY’s popular Half Marathon event looks set to go ahead in 2017 after the council confirmed this week that an additional £50,000 is set to be put forward to safeguard its future.
Concerns were raised earlier this month that one of the city’s biggest annual sporting events would be wiped off the calendar after organisers G02 decided not to renew their contract for 2017.
Michael McCann, fundraising manager for Zoe’s Place who are the official charity partner of the race, expressed his worry that council budget cuts were to blame, while neighbours Birmingham continued to add sporting events to its calendar.
But council cabinet members are this week set to approve a £50,000 contingency budget to support the delivery of the Coventry Half Marathon next year. which looks set to take place once again in spring.
“Following the recent announcement by GO2 Events not to seek an extension to their contract to deliver the event, we have moved quickly to consider the options to continue to deliver a 2017 event,” said Councillor Abdul Khan, deputy leader of the council.
“By making this financial commitment, it will allow us to work immediately to formally register a date for the event and open runner registration for a 2017 Coventry Half Marathon.
“In securing the event next year, we hope runners, local businesses, sponsors and charities, can now plan for the event and we look forward to Coventry hosting yet another successful event for all the community.”
The Coventry Half Marathon has grown in popularity year-on-year with record numbers taking part back in February where over 4,000 runners took to the streets of Coventry for the 13.1-mile challenge, while the associated Schools Challenge event attracted 1,033 children as participants.
As well as providing a platform for health, fitness and fun, the 13.1-mile race helped raise over £80,000 for numerous local charities and also brings with it city centre footfall, and economic benefits.
In confirming a 2017 event, council officers are now actively seeking to engage with local running clubs, charities and businesses, both in relation to the 2017 event and beyond.
Anyone interested in registering their interest in next year’s half marathon or for more information about the event visit www.coventryhalf.com.