Anyone who signs up to the 2016 Ealing Half Marathon during December will also be helping the homeless.
Ealing Half Marathon CIC, which organises the hugely popular annual event, has pledged to donate £5 to Ealing Churches Winter Night Shelter for every race entry it receives during the month.
Race director Kelvin Walker said: “The Ealing Half Marathon is different to many races and events out there because it is organised by a Community Interest Company (CIC), which benefits the community rather than private shareholders. The shelter provides for the most basic and essential needs for homeless people – sleep and food - and also has a wider impact on the community through the extensive network of volunteers.
“We are proud to support the Ealing Churches Winter Night Shelter and we are hoping to raise vital funds for this great cause.”
The night shelter is provided by an ecumenical coalition of churches within Ealing borough and provides emergency accommodation for up to 14 guests including rough sleepers and those at immediate risk of homelessness. It is open from late November to the end of March, and on each night of the week a different church opens its doors, providing a hot meal, somewhere to sleep, breakfast and companionship.
Alison Wood, one of the co-ordinators of the shelter project, said: “We are delighted that the Ealing Half Marathon is once again helping to fund our work with homeless people in Ealing borough. It’s great to get this news just as we are about to open for another season. Every £5 covers a night’s rest for one person in a shelter out of the cold.”
Next year’s Ealing Half Marathon will be the fifth event so far and will take place on Sunday September 25, 2016.
Race organisers have been working closely with the Anglican churches since the inaugural event in 2012 with the congregations on the running route manning the water stations.
The Ealing Half Marathon was voted ‘Best Half Marathon’ at The 2015 Running Awards in London for the second year. The race starts and finishes in Lammas Park and features a 13.1 mile route on closed roads around the leafy streets and parks of Ealing.
A total of 8,000 places are available for 2016 and entries cost £36 for affiliated runners and £38 for unaffiliated runners.