Entries are rolling in for the new Reach Mansfield Town Centre 10k event next month as organisers aim to produce a race for the town to be proud of.
The 10k takes place on Sunday, August 20 (9.30am) and replaces the well-supported Mansfield Half-Marathon, which ended in 2011 due to spiralling costs over health and safety after it had been a popular fixture for more than 30 years.
To get us back into the market place is amazing
The event has been made possible by a collaboration of Reach Learning Disability, Mansfield 2020 Business Development group, Mansfield Harriers and Mansfield District Council.
The objectives of the 10k are to regenerate interest in Mansfield town centre with complete town centre involvement, as well as promoting health and well being to the local population by providing an achievable and more manageable target for people looking to get fit and involved in a mass participation event.
The event is in support of local charity Reach Learning Disability and will also double up as the Notts AAA County Championship for 2015.
On the 10k organising committee, Steve Shatwell has been involved in the Mansfield Half Marathon from the very beginning in 1981 and said: “It’s great having a town centre run again, which is so rare nowadays.
“The half-marathon route was getting further and further out and people were running round retail parks and country roads. To get us back into the market place is amazing.
“For a town of our size not to have a decent race event was abysmal. It is about having something to be proud of. And everyone was proud of the half-marathon.
“But we have had to cut our cloth within the financial restraints we have got, and we wouldn’t be doing what we are doing this year without the help of the district council.”
He added: “A big part of the reason for doing a 10k instead of a half-marathon is the finance. Once we got the latest quotes for the traffic management on the half-marathon it killed it stone dead.
“Also, health and well being is on the agenda and a lot of local people can do a 10k. For those people not fit enough enough to do a half-marathon, this is a reasonable distance and very do-able.
“I don’t think we will get any future Olympic runners coming here. But there should be some good local talent come to try it out.”
Numbers for the first year may be restricted by the lateness of the announcement of the date in May, but competitors are expected to build next year and Mr Shatwell said: “Entries are going quite well and we’d hope to have 500-600 which, for quite a late start on a brand new event, we’d be quite happy with.
“We are never going to be a Derby or a Lincoln, which attract over 5,000 runners. But why shouldn’t we be able to attract a couple of thousand? We could never quite get over the thousand mark in the half-marathon, but the funny thing with events is they sometimes just hit a ceiling.
“I think 1,500-2,000 is a reasonable aspiration in due course for a 10k.
“People won’t travel too far in my opinion, maybe 30-40 miles, unless they have a special reason for attending.”
Main organiser of the new 10k is Anna Joyce, from Reach Learning Disability, and the steering committee have had great support from Mansfield District Council, Nottinghamshire Police, the Highways Department and the Mansfield Town Centre team.
The 10k has also attracted and secured Nottingham-based event specialists Perfect Motion, who are responsible for multiple races around the country including the annual Cycle Live and Great Notts Bike Ride.
The race route consists of two 5k circuits of the town centre, starting at Titchfield Park at 9.30am with a unique finish in Mansfield market place.
Potential sponsors can contact Caroline Cox on 01623 422010 while anyone interested in volunteering on race day or leading up to the event can contact Anna at Reach on 01623 819066
To secure your place in Mansfield Town’s first ever town centre 10K, runners can visit www.mansfield10k.co.uk or for further information contact Anna on the above number.