Organisers behind Mansfield Half Marathon say this year’s revived event now looks likely to be a 10k race instead.
Steve Shatwell, who has been at the heart of the campaign to see the popular sporting event return, says that a 10k race could help attract more competitors, and could be solely ‘town centre focused’.
It comes after Mansfield District Council unanimously agreed to pledge £20,000 for this year’s half marathon, with high hopes the annual race could be self funding in the future.
But a 10k race, which is less than half the distance of a half marathon, has been given the backing by Labour group leader, Martin Lee, who first proposed that the money be spent on the event.
With the race earmarked for September, Steve Shatwell is happy that he has the support for a 10k, but has not ruled out a half marathon for future years.
“It’s something I’ve been thinking about for some time, it might be a 10k run that could become a half marathon next year, we are not closing the door on the idea.
“In terms of traffic management it would be better as a 10k, and could get more people in to the town centre, make it more town centre focussed and to make it a more vibrant event.
“We could create a festival atmosphere in the Market Square with music and stalls, there are great viewing points around the town centre and it would just create a real feel-good factor.
“It would be more accessible to those who do park runs every week, or those who perhaps want to lose weight or want to get back into some sort of exercise.
“There are some exciting possibilities.
“Derby 10k race attracts 3,500 runners and Lincoln gets 4,500. I’m not saying we can get that many but it shows how many people can take part.”
Steve said that the local athletics club, Mansfield Harriers, are giving their full backing to a 10k race and they are busy plotting a route to be put forward for approval with the highways department.
The Mansfield Half Marathon had been run for more than 30 years, before it was cancelled in 2012 due to spiralling costs over health and safety.
Previous organisers, the voluntary Road Race Committee, said it had simply become unsustainable.