Health & Fitness English town to host UK’s first free running race – and here’s how you can enter
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The UK’s first free-to-enter running race is now open for entry. The Warrington Running Festival will take place on Sunday, September 24, 2023 and offer 6,000 people the chance to run on closed-roads over distances of, and .
It’s the brainchild of Matt Wood (above, left) and Ben Green (above, right), two ex-international runners who founded RunThrough Events in 2014. Now they’re looking to give something back through the RunThrough Foundation, a not-for-profit with the aim of ‘encouraging more people from disadvantaged backgrounds to take up running'.
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Wood said: ‘Running is one of the most accessible sports in the UK, but the cost of entering events can be a big barrier. Although we have been planning the launch of the Foundation for some time, the rising costs of food, fuel and energy have made this even more relevant.
‘By launching the Foundation and opening the door to a mass participation running event to people who can’t afford entry fees, we aim to introduce more people to running and all the positive physical, mental and social benefits it brings.’
Green, who grew up in Warrington, said its particularly rewarding to be holding the Foundation’s first event there. ‘We wanted to do something special and launching the Foundation and then making my hometown race completely free to enter feels pretty special,’ he said.
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Wood and Green say they hope to trigger the start of a new movement to widen the appeal of running, with the intention for the Foundation to launch other free running events across the UK.
Entries for the Warrington Running Festival will be through a ballot and are open now:. If you’re successful in the ballot, you’ll then be able to choose which distance you want to run – 5K, 10K or half-marathon. The first announcement of who has been successful in the ballot will be made on January 31, 2023.
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