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Wolverhampton Marathon to be renamed after main run was axed

By Alex Ross | Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Wolverhampton's annual marathon event is to be rebranded in the wake of an announcement to axe the 26.2 mile race.

The start of the Wolverhampton marathon in 2015

Next year's event is likely to be called Carver Wolverhampton City Events, organisers revealed today.

It comes after it was decided to drop the marathon event due to falling numbers of participants.

But more emphasis will go into working on the half marathon event, creating 1,000 extra spaces, the cycling race and 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 event must now also compete with the Great Birmingham Run, which last year introduced a full marathon course for the first time.

Mary Harding, president of Wolves and Bilston Athletics Club, said: "We are currently bouncing around ideas for the new name of the event.

"We have taken the decision and we now need to move on and create another successful event for the city next year."

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The news was announced by Henry Carver, managing director of main sponsor Carvers Building Supplies.

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.

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"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."

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.

Alex Ross

By Alex Ross
@alexross_star

Chief Reporter at the Express & Star. Everyone has a story - tell me yours.

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