Crumpet power and Welsh Cakes are fuelling the success of a popular half marathon that’s already a sell-out this year.
Runners from across the UK will be heading to Wrexham to take part in the Village Bakery Half Marathon on Sunday, February 12.
Among the 1,800 starters will be a host of elite athletes, including Omar Ahmed, a member of Birchfield Harriers, in Birmingham, who has a personal best of 62 minutes.
All the finishers will receive a medal along with packet of sourdough crumpets or Welsh Cakes from the long-running sponsors, the Wrexham-based Jones Village Bakery.
They have supported the half marathon since it was founded in 1995, encouraged by their then maintenance engineer, Peter Norman, a spectacularly successful triathlete and iron man.
The family firm have now committed to supporting the event for another five years, including the 30th anniversary race in two years’ time.
Organiser Mike Harrington, from Cute Fruit Events, said: “The support of the Village Bakery has been absolutely crucial and I am hugely grateful they have committed to supporting it for another five years.
“No matter how much you try to put the location into the name, people refer to it as the Village Bakery Half Marathon or just the Bakery’s.
“Their sourdough crumpets are second to none while their Welsh Cakes are to die for – so I’m sure they’ll go down a treat. It’s one of the things the runners look forward to as a tasty reward for their efforts.”
He added: “It’s a very fast, flat course and you get a lot of the faster runners coming to do this race just to get a personal best.
“The race has a long and distinguished history as one of the earliest half marathons in the UK and the first in Wales.
“This is a really exciting time in Wrexham with everything that’s happening with city status and the impact of Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney at the football club.”
The runners will include Florence Roberts, the Village Bakery’s Group New Product Development Manager, a successful fell runner who will be competing for the fourth time.
She said: “It’s great to have such a brilliant event on our doorstep and it’s a flat course which means it’s fast and a good opportunity to try for a personal best time.”
Her Spanish colleague, Project Engineer Carlos Ojeda, is also an experienced runner and will be using it a warm-up race for the marathon in his home city of Seville the following Sunday.
He said: “I’ve never done the Village Bakery Half Marathon before because it’s usually at the same time as the Seville Marathon so I’m really looking forward to it.”
Jones Village Bakery Managing Director Robin Jones said: “As a family, we’ve been proud to have supported the race continuously for 27 years, through thick and thin.
“During that time, we’ve had floods, we’ve had Covid and there was one year when a local landowner changed the signs, sending all the runners the wrong way. We’ve seen all sorts ar the Village Bakery Half Marathon.
“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 this underlines that.
“We bake local and we support local,” he added.
For more information about the race go to http www.runcheshire.com/contact-run-cheshire-gogledd-cymru