Crumpet power is fuelling the success of the half marathon race that will be the biggest ever this year. A record number of 1,500 entrants will line up for The Village Bakery Half Marathon in Wrexham on Sunday 19th February.
All of the competitors will receive a packet of our best-selling Sourdough Crumpets, in which we are the long-term sponsors of the half marathon, in the area. This year for the first time the finishers will also receive a medal emblazoned with the logo of The Village Bakery, as we are celebrating our 21st anniversary of being the race sponsor.
Race organiser Mike Harrington, from Cute Fruit Events, who manages the race in partnership with Wrexham Athletics Club, is delighted with the increasing popularity of the event.
Mike said: ‘We've got a limit of 1500, and we sold out two months to go. The runners always look forward to The Village Bakery goods, so it sets the race apart from most other races.’
‘It's a big half marathon, in the race calendar and I think the race really reflects The Village Bakery and it reflects Wrexham and North Wales.’
‘It's changing. It's growing, it's confident, it's got honesty - it's the peoples' race.’
‘As well as the local runners, we've got people coming from far and wide - from London, the Midlands and Greater Manchester.’
‘Among the big names we've got, this year Russell Bentley who recently won the Snowdon Marathon and Patrick Martin from Stockport who's a 65 minute half marathon runner.’
‘It's such a fast course that when the weather is right and all of the conditions are right people can get some good fast times that set them up for a good year, particularly those who are doing a spring marathon.
‘One of the key attractions is the crumpets at the end of the race - that's one of the things the runners look forward to.’
‘The crumpets and the sponsorship of The Village Bakery are helping to drive the success and increase the popularity of the event. Next year we're looking at getting between 2,500 - 3,000 runners.’
‘There's a boom in running generally, but this particular race has seen such an increase in participation over the last two or three years.’
‘We couldn't really do it without the commitment and the support we get from The Village Bakery because they invest in us long-term and that then allows us to then invest in the infrastructure of the race.’
‘The Village Bakery Half Marathon is putting Wrexham truly on the map in terms of running. It's now a real running destination.’
Among those taking part this year will be three of our employees, baker Jake Longworth along with Florence Roberts and Eileanoir Daly who both work in the New Product Development department.
Florence said: "From my point of view, it's perfect that The Village Bakery sponsors the race. It’s a really flat course so people go out to beat their times, get personal bests, that kind of thing.’
Robin Jones, our Managing Director said: ‘It was our engineer Peter Norman, who's now retired, who started the half marathon.’
‘From humble beginnings, I'm delighted that this year is going to attract a record number of 1,500 runners.’
‘We are a local, family-run company and proud of our roots in the local community in the Wrexham area and supporting fantastic events like the half marathon underlines that.’
‘We bake local and we support local’ he added.