Millions of Reasons to Love the ABP Southampton Marathon

April 27, 2018

A PARTY atmosphere hit the streets of Southampton as 30,000 spectators and an army of more than 850 volunteers cheered on the 10,000 runners taking part in the 2018 ABP Southampton Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K.

Sunshine and blue skies greeted the runners tackling the Marathon, Half and 10K and there were cooling mist showers on Itchen Bridge to help make the soaring temperatures more bearable.

The event, which is in its fourth year, is expected to raise £400,000 for charitable causes, taking the total raised since its inception to over £1m.

In addition the local economy is set to have gained a £1m boost as runners and their families enjoyed the sun and hospitality on offer in local bars, restaurants and cafes.

The 80-strong ABP team was made up of runners from ports across the UK and the Port of Southampton.One of those running the full Marathon was ABP Southampton Engineer Sean Cooper, raising funds for the port's Rio Gold Challenge in aid of the Rainbow Centre.

Sean explained: "Having run the ABP Southampton half marathon twice, I thought that this year I ought to step it up and complete the full length race before I hit the big 5-0!

"Completing the Southampton Marathon on a very hot day was a massive achievement for me. The crowds cheering us on as we ran that second lap was so uplifting and helped me complete in just over 4 hours."

ABP Southampton has been the main sponsor for the event since the beginning and as part of the sponsorship package, the port supports community groups who act as Mile Makers cheering on the runners and handing out water.

ABP Southampton Director, Alastair Welch, said: “For the fourth year we are proud to sponsor this event and we welcome the boost in visitors to the city.

“The atmosphere has been fantastic and the mile makers drawn from community groups across the city have once again ensured tired runners kept running with a smile on their faces.”

Nikki Rees, one of the race directors, said: “The number of people taking part in the full marathon distance rose significantly this year so we’re looking at allowing even more people to take part next year.

“We also saw unprecedented interest in the 10k, with all the places full weeks before the event. It’s early days but we’re exploring creating 20 per cent more 10k spaces next year. If that happens it’ll make ours the biggest 10k in Hampshire, possibly even the south.”

Chris Rees, another of the race directors, said: “The ABP Southampton Marathon really is gaining a reputation for the friendliest and most well-supported mass running event and we couldn’t be prouder. A huge thank you goes out to our runners, staff, volunteers and the members of Southampton’s community who make the event a success year after year.”

The date for next year’s ABP Southampton Marathon has been set for April 28, 2019 and early bird entries are available now at www.abpsouthamptonhalf.co.uk