The highly anticipated Ilkley Half Marathon, organised by Ilkley and District Round Table, is set to be the largest sporting event in Yorkshire since 2019 when 2,000 runners take on the course on 11th July 2021.
The fully road-closed foot race will follow the same route as the inaugural event of 2019 through Ilkley, Addingham and Nesfield and aims to generate £35,000 for local good causes when the starting gun fires.
This follows hot on the heels of the 2019 event that raised £30,000 and the 2020 virtual Ilkley Half Marathon that contributed over £25,000 towards Leeds General Infirmary's state-of-the-art baby MRI incubator in partnership with the Children's Heart Surgery Fund, with a significant proportion of the total donated by High Speed Training, based in Ilkley.
Completely sold out since March 2020, a waiting list has been set up on the organisation's website: www.ilkleyhalfmarathon.co.uk for those hoping to grab a place. Over 70% of the entrants have opted for Ilkley Round Table to plant a tree in the Wharfedale area rather than receive a finisher's gift, which will help reduce the risk of flooding. Working in collaboration with national waste management firm Biffa Waste Services and Harrogate Spring Water, the event organisers have also committed to recycling every water bottle generated at the event into food-grade PET. The event will even feature a fully electric lead car in a bid to minimise the event's environmental impact.
Race Director, Matthew Ward, stated, "Ilkley Round Table are excited to deliver a fantastic community event and to support local good causes once more. Given the year that we've all experienced, we hope that this event will be a big step towards normality and, working with the council and our partners, we are committed and confident in delivering a safe and enjoyable event."
Given the current situation with Covid-19, the organisers do not plan to stage the Event Village that attracted thousands of supporters to minimise the risk of transmission.
Trevor Yong, Ilkley Round Table Chairman, added, "The wellbeing of our community and our entrants is our number one priority and we encourage everyone in the area to support the event safely and conscientiously. The route through Ben Rhydding, the Grove in Ilkley, Addingham and Nesfield present many safe opportunities to come out and support your friends and family. We can't way to see you!"
The organisers are seeking volunteers to support the event. Interested parties can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.