Town turns out for biggest ever Love Luton Marathon

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Love Luton’s sixth half-marathon and 10k was attended by a record number of runners on Sunday.

At 9am Linsey Frostick, chairperson of Love Luton, officially started the races at Stockwood Park athletics track.

Both courses took runners through the award winning parks with the half marathon also passing the iconic Mansion House and Luton Hoo Estate, which in the autumn was a truly breath-taking experience even with two very challenging hills.

The course finished at the town centre with many spectators waving flags and cheering on the runners.

Kurtis Gibson of St Albans Striders took 1st place in the half marathon with an impressive time of 1hr, 12 minutes and 49 seconds.

Charlene Jacobs-Oradie of Luton A.C took 1st place for the females with a record time of 1 hour 23 minutes and 49 seconds.

Stephen Strange of Basildon Running club took 1 st place in the 10k completing the run in 33 minutes and 23 seconds.

Ashley Schoenwetter of Fairlands Valley Spartan RC took 1st place for the women with a run time of 40 minutes and 10 seconds

The event would not have been possible without the support of so many local people who volunteered.

The event was supported with over 100 Signposts volunteers who rallied together to marshal the event, manning water stations, setting up road blocks, managing Race HQ and then cheering on the hard-working runners.

It was also supported by over 25 local businesses who make up Love Luton.

With particular thanks to Active Luton for the use of Stockwood Park athletics track, the Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf and Spa for the use of their grounds, Barthram Press and Discover Islam who provided the water, Pratts who supplied the bananas, Arriva who provided the shuttle buses for the runners and finally JB Interiors who sponsored the finishers t-shirts.

Linsey Frostick Chairperson for Love Luton said “Sunday’s half marathon and 10k was a huge success for the town and an event that has put Luton on the map for all the right reasons.

“We had record entries, it brings in much needed spend and so it is a boost to the local economy; it promotes a healthy image and encourages people to sign up to participate in a local sporting event and inspires our next generations.

“Runners also raised much needed funds for local charities and taking on personal challenges was hugely inspiring to watch. The event is supported on the day by over 250 personnel as well as 25 local businesses.

“This allows both the local and business community to get actively involved and we have been delighted by the overall support the event received on Sunday”.

For more information visit the website: www.loveluton.org.uk/halfmarathon or email events@loveluton.org.uk

>Over 100 volunteers led by local homeless charity Signposts helped to get the town moving at the Love Luton Half Marathon, and 10k race.

Community groups from across the town manned water stations, set up barriers, registered entrants and cheered on the hard-working runners.

A spokesman said: “We were thrilled to have so many young people marshalling this year with children from Chantry’s, Whitefield’s and Southfields schools shouting encouragements at the top of their voices to runners.

“An amazing turn out from 10F (Luton) ATC Squadron Air Cadets who lined the route in St George’s Square alongside Rachel Bundy from the University of Bedfordshire and a group of students.

“Other wonderful community partners included, Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth, Arriva, Luton Borough Council’s volunteer scheme, The Zimbabwe Community Group, Friends of Hightown, Greenhouse mentoring, Stopsley Striders, The Rotary Club of Luton and The Luton Lions.

“All sharing in one aim to create an vibrant, energetic atmosphere for the runners taking part and ensure a safe and enjoyable race for all.

“For Signposts this was a very special race with our very own Gill Peck and her friend running to raise money for Signposts. Both have invested lots of time training and raised a massive £1,360.”

Signposts Head of Community, Partnerships and Innovation, Phyl Rainey, said: “I would like to say a big thank you to Gill who has led the Team SP recruitment and organisation of this year’s awesome volunteer team; and to our amazing volunteers, I can’t thank you enough each and every person who gets up early, claps, shouts and smiles to encourage the runners, you are the people that make a town great.”