Thirty runners are being offered the chance to enter Weston Athletic Club’s renowned Christmas Cracker race for free this December – if they pledge to raise sponsorship money for Weston Hospicecare.
The Cracker race has become a firm favourite in the West Country’s running calendar since its launch back in 1987, and typically sees all 2,500 of its places snapped up.
For the past 17 of those years, race organisers have used the event to support the hospice, meaning they have donated more than £70,000 to the charity over the years.
That support will continue at the next event on 8 December – but will also be extended through the provision of 30 free places for hospice runners who commit to raising the suggested minimum sponsorship target of £100.
Race director Malcolm Gammon said: “We are pleased to be able to support the important work of Weston Hospicecare through donations from the Cracker each year.
“This year, in recognition of the hospice’s 30th anniversary, we thought it very appropriate to give them 30 places that can be used to encourage even more fundraising for this worthy cause.”
Weston Athletic Club’s support for the hospice also sees club members organise a 10-week training programme to help fledgling runners prepare for the event.
Coaches donate their time for free, and the £30 fee which participants pay to join the programme is donated in its entirety to the hospice.
Those new runners then join a field comprising a broad mixture of elite athletes, fun runners and charity supporters – many in festive fancy dress – for a route along Weston beach and seafront, through Uphill and back to the Grand Pier.
As well as a technical race T-shirt, a mince pie, and free digital race photo downloads, for the first time this year all finishers will also receive a medal as they cross the line.
Weston Hospicecare’s challenge manager Simon Angear said: “We’ve long been grateful to everyone at Weston Athletic Club for the magnificent support they offer to the hospice, and we’re thrilled at this latest act of generosity.
“We know lots of Christmas Cracker participants enjoy knowing their effort and money is going to support a good cause, and this now presents a fresh opportunity for people to get involved in the event while supporting their local hospice.”
An early bird registration rate of £15 for club runners or £18 for non-affiliated is in place until the end of July, when it increases to £18/£20.
However, if you would like to secure a free place by pledging to fundraise for Weston Hospicecare, you can claim a place – on a first come, first served basis – by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition, new runners who would like to learn more about the event’s training programme or register to take part, should contact Jim Wotton on 01934 814208 or email email@example.com
Those who want to enter the Cracker, but who would prefer to pay for their place, can do so by logging on to www.westonac.co.uk/christmascracker30 free