Wolverhampton Marathon to be axed after drop in entrants

The Wolverhampton Marathon is to be axed, with organisers instead focusing on shorter-distance events.

The start of last year's marathon
The start of last year's marathon

The Wolverhampton Marathon is to be axed after a fall in entrants.

Fewer than 200 signed up for this year's 26.2 mile Carver Wolverhampton City Marathon – less than 10 per cent of the total number of entrants.

Organisers will now focus on the shorter-distance events instead, boosting the overall places by an extra 1,000 for the half-marathon, cycling race and the 10k.

Bosses say keeping the event open for several hours, to see all marathon runners safely home, costs money that could go to the charities that benefit from the annual fundraiser.

The news was announced by Henry Carver, managing director of main sponsor Carvers Building Supplies, at a presentation ceremony to hand over this year's funds.

He said: "It was a difficult decision but we would love to expand numbers and focusing on the more popular events seems the best way forward. It's where the demand is.

"At its height the marathon attracted around 500 runners. The event will be re-named and rebranded for next year.

"Over the last three or four years the number of people who enter the Banks's 10k and the Cousins' 20k cycle and wheelchair events has grown, with the half-marathon staying the same.

"But the number of people taking part in the marathon is less than a third of people who enter the 10k and a significant number of the marathon entrants end up doing the half-marathon instead.

"This means the event is kept open for three or more hours after most entrants have finished for very few people.

"Although we get volunteers, some marshals, time-keepers and others are paid and have to stay on till everyone has passed the line."

Watch the highlights from last year's marathon

Yesterday cheques totalling £16,000 were presented to Sunnyside Kennels Coven, Compton Hospice, Samaritans Wolverhampton and the Mayoral Charity Fund.

The 2018 event will take place on Sunday, September 2.

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