EALING Half Marathon has unveiled Volvic as its official bottled water sponsor for the 2013 race, which takes place on Sunday, September 29th.
The natural mineral water brand is owned by Ealing-based Danone Waters UK & Ireland Ltd, which is donating 35,000 bottles to support this year’s race.
Five Anglican churches alongside the running route will man water stations, where their congregations will hand out bottles to runners who may be in need of a little divine inspiration as they tackle the 13.1 miles.
Event co-ordinator Sandra Courtney said: "We’re delighted to secure the backing of a prestigious water brand like Volvic and it’s fantastic to build on the support we had from churches and their congregations last year. It’s great to have the whole community behind the race."
Alex Valk, external communications manager for Danone Waters UK & Ireland Ltd said: "We are so excited to once again support this fantastic event. Last year we supplied 25,000 evian bottles to refresh the runners. We decided as last year the runners got the Live young, this year they might fancy a spot of Volcanicity as they battle around the course. It is great to see that this brilliant community initiative has proven to be so popular and we are all counting down to the big day."
Nearly all of the churches involved will reschedule their services and, with a number of their flock taking part they will be enter an informal “churches challenge” to keep the #EalingFeeling going.
Water stations will be set up at St Peter’s, at the two-mile point; St Barnabas at four miles; St Stephen’s, after six miles; St Mary’s, Hanwell, at mile nine; and St John’s, Mattock Lane, when runners have a mile to go. The final station will be support by members of St Mary’s, Ealing alongside volunteers from Danone Waters UK & Ireland Ltd.
Among those who backed the race last year was Father David Neno, from St Peter’s, which will repeat its runners’ service and pasta party on the eve of the race.
He said: “We had about 85 people at the pasta party last year, which wasn’t bad going for the first time we’d tried it. This year, the organisers asked us about a water station and we thought ‘why not?’ It’s a great community event and we’re really looking forward to it.”
Details of the service and pasta party will be announced in the run-up to the event.
A newcomer to the race fold this year is Rev Matthew Grayshon whose church – St Mary’s in Hanwell – has become involved after improvements to the route.
"We’re very keen to ask the congregation to join in,” he said. “It won’t be difficult to get volunteers. We usually have about 140 people at our 9.30am service and I’m sure it will be something people will enjoy.”
The Ealing Half Marathon, supported by the Gazette, starts and finishes in Lammas Park with the race, retail and charity village at its heart. The single-lap course takes in parts of Central Ealing, Montpelier, Pitshanger, West Ealing, Hanwell and St Stephens.
Having an increased capacity of 6,000 runners’ organisers say they are well on course to beat last year’s sell-out 4,650 entry.
Sandra Courtney said: "Places to the race are going fast and we would like to encourage anyone wanting to be on the start line this September to register as soon as possible."
Race entry costs £32 for affiliated runners and £34 for unaffiliated runners, with all finishers receiving a distinctive medal and an online e-goody bag after the race.
A Corporate Challenge takes place as part of the main race whilst the Ealing Mini Mile, a one mile run around Lammas Park aimed at young runners aged 6 – 11, starts at 9.30 am.
Please go to www.ealinghalfmarathon.com for further race details and to enter, you can also join the Facebook pagewww.facebook.com/ealinghalf and follow @EalingHalf on Twitter to keep up to date with all the latest news about the Ealing Half Marathon.