Double Olympic Gold Medallist Jame Cracknell OBE brings new super half marathon to the coastal town
On the seven-year anniversary of a near-fatal cycling accident, double Olympic Gold Medallist James Cracknell OBE announces his latest project: The Weston-Super-Half.
To be held on Sunday 18th March 2018, the inaugural Weston-Super-Half will be the only mass participation event in the world in which the runners will cross the finish-line a quarter of a mile out to sea – at the end of The Grand Pier itself.
The iconic 1904-built pier was devastated by a fire in 2008, but rose from the ashes after reopening in 2010 and this event will cement its status as a treasured part of twenty-first-century Britain.
Kerry Michael, owner of The Grand Pier said; “We are delighted to be working with James Cracknell and the team at RunJoy to deliver what is set to be a spectacular one-of-a-kind event. The Pier will be the perfect backdrop for this race and we’re truly excited to be such key part of it. We’re so proud to be helping Weston-Super-Mare stand out in the crowd once again.”
Its glorious waterfront location and fast, mainly flat route will define The Weston-Super-Half as one of the highlights of any seasoned runner’s calendar. It will provide the perfect marker for anyone training for running the London Marathon.
Setting off from Marine Parade at the Pier’s entrance, the 13.1mile route will take participants through the historic town, enjoying the spectacular seaside sights before heading out around the picturesque Somerset villages and surrounding countryside. The runners will head back along the Parade, cheered on by families and supporters on the beach, and into the entrance of The Grand Pier. Exhausted, but elated, they will be lifted by the final stunning views out to sea.
After retiring from rowing, James Cracknell became one of the world’s top endurance athletes, finishing as the highest ever Brit in the gruelling Marathon de Sables in 2010, before he was hit by a truck whilst crossing America for a Discovery Channel TV series. His recovery from a serious brain injury has exceeded all expectations and in March 2017, at the age of 44, he achieved a 7 minute Personal Best time of 2hr 43 at the London Marathon.
James said; “Running is a big part of my life – the physical and emotional benefits of getting out in the fresh air and moving our bodies have been proven time and again. Non-Communicable diseases such as Type-2 Diabetes are having a huge impact on people across all communities. Regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle can help stave off these diseases but it's easier to train with a goal in mind. With the NHS under so much pressure, Runjoy want to do what we can to help individuals, but also our great country. I started with a blank piece of paper, an inkling that Weston would make the perfect venue and a desire to create a brand new running event. This race will be fantastic. I can’t wait to run it myself!”
However, you don’t need to be an Olympian to get involved. Cracknell wants anyone wanting to get fit and have a fun weekend by the sea to get involved, “It’s a largely flat, achievable course and we’ll be there every step of the way to help with advice on training, nutrition and self-care.”
The Weston Super Half is due to take place on Sunday 18th March 2018. The race will be hosted at The Grand Pier and will start at 9.30am. Registration for the event can be found at www.westonsuperhalf.co.uk and details and updates will be available via Facebook and Twitter using the handle; @westonsuperhalf.