Hitchin Hard Half 2018: Rallying cry for volunteers and sponsors

PUBLISHED: 08:27 12 April 2018 | UPDATED: 08:36 12 April 2018

Hitchin Hard Half runner Anna Weller with her brother Ian at the Cotswold 24 Hour Race last year. Picture: Anna Weller

Hitchin Hard Half runner Anna Weller with her brother Ian at the Cotswold 24 Hour Race last year. Picture: Anna Weller

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"We're nothing without you" - that's the message from the organisers of Hitchin's Hard Half race as they put out the call for volunteers and sponsors.

The Hard Half, which is now backed by the Comet, is set for Sunday, June 24 – with the main half marathon course complemented with a 10km race and a 5km fun run.

Funding from sponsors such as Lyndhurst Financial Management and Modern Networks IT services is key to ensure the run happens, and as it grows more of the contribution goes to charity each year.

But it’s the volunteers who are so important for the day – from putting out the signage the day before to getting marshalls, water stations and more in place on the morning of the race. There’s about 60 of them in all.

This year’s charity beneficiary is the North Herts Centre for Voluntary Service, though runners are also encouraged to run for charities of their choice.

Volunteers at the 2018 Hard Half include runner Anna Weller.

She said: “The Hitchin Hard Half is a fantastic local running event. I ran it in 2013 and since then have volunteered as a marshall three times.

“Marshalling is a great way to feel really involved in the event, even without running in it. As a local you are guaranteed to see many familiar faces. Last year I also managed to spot a runner from my brother’s running club in Cheltenham – he was a bit surprised to hear a shout out for his running club!

“I find that cheering and clapping on the runners becomes compulsive, as you don’t want to feel like you are letting anyone down with your support. Expect to go home with your hands aching!

“I have also met some very nice people as fellow marshalls. All this is good as I have chosen to run the Half again this year, alongside – well, probably far behind – my brother, and I know that the support on the course will be second to none.”

The Hard Half is run by Hitchin Tilehouse Rotary Club, a spokesman for which saluted the people of Preston for the fantastic reception they give the runners every year as they pass through.

The club are still looking for a water sponsor. If you’d like your company name on the water bottles handed out to the runners, email h3m@tilehouserotary.org.

To find out more or enter the Hard Half, see h3m.co.uk.

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