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Bourton Hilly Half is back and it's on Father's Day... and there's a fun run too

All Areas > Sport > Running

Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Friday, 27th May 2022, 09:00

This year’s Bourton Hilly Half will take place on Sunday 19th June This year’s Bourton Hilly Half will take place on Sunday 19th June

This year’s Father’s Day is on Sunday 19th June as all sons and daughters in and around the county will know – well, maybe!

It’s a good family occasion, of course, and if you’re looking for something a little bit different to help you celebrate dad’s day, then here’s an idea… get yourself over to Bourton-on-the-Water.

Why? Well, this year’s Father’s Day is also the date of the Bourton Hilly Half, the annual event staged by the always impressive Bourton Roadrunners.

That’s a decent race, of course, but if you fancy a bit of exercise without doing a half marathon, the race organisers have something for you too because for the first time the main event will take place alongside a fun run, something that has been specifically designed for people of all ages and abilities.

“We’ve got something for everyone,” said race director Tim Carter, a keen runner himself. “We’re really excited. We’ve got a different venue and we’ve changed the event slightly.”

Carter, who has run the London Marathon in two hours, 33 minutes, took over as the hilly half’s race director in 2019 but because of the various lockdowns this will be only his second time as the main man.

“It’s been frustrating because we had such a good event in 2019,” he admitted, before adding with enthusiasm, “but now we’re back!”

This year’s event has been switched to Greystones Farm Nature Reserve in Greystones Lane, Bourton-on-the-Water, a venue which is part of the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.

The 13.1-mile Bourton Hilly Half will start and finish at Greystones Farm, with runners going out and about in the beautiful Cotswolds in between.

The 1.5-mile fun run will take place around the nature reserve and Carter said: “It’s two laps, you don’t have to be fast or fit to take part, we’re a very inclusive club. It’s completely off-road and anyone can enter. We’ve said anyone from the ages of two to 99 but we’re not excluding centurions!

“We’re hoping to get a couple of hundred people to the venue but if we could get 200 for the hilly half and 50 in the fun run that would be amazing. All the proceeds go to the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust.”

The hilly half will start at 9am with the fun run getting under way 15 minutes later and it’s fair to say that the hilly half is a challenging race.

“Yes, it is,” said Carter. “The race will set off through the wildlife reserve, past the Salmonsbury Camp Hillfort and across the historic site before joining on with the road at Cemetery Lane.

“The route will take runners through the beautiful centre and river of Bourton-on-the-Water, before up the legendary steeps – the first of two major climbs – and eventually out towards Sherborne.

“As it loops back up the second major climb toward Clapton, the wondrous views continue with the race eventually taking runners back into Bourton before re-joining Cemetery Lane for a short out and back, and back across the wildlife reserve and to the finish.”

The 2019 race was won by ever-popular Cirencester Athletics Club runner Dave Bell in a time of one hour, 14 minutes, 34 seconds, while the first lady home was Tewkesbury Running Club’s Shona Crombie-Hicks, who completed in one hour, 30 minutes, 13 seconds.

Carter ran the race in 2018 – he finished in around one hour, 20 – but will have too much on his plate in terms of organisation to take part this year.

But while Carter won’t be running on Father’s Day, there’s every chance that one member of his family will be – three-year-old daughter Evie.

“I’ve told my wife that she’ll want to do the fun run,” laughed Carter, “even though she might not do the two laps and she might not go the right way!”

The fun run will start and finish in the same place as the half marathon and takes in parts of the Wildlife Walk and Timetravel Trail, passing the Salmonsbury Fort twice.

“The Salmonsbury Hill Fort will be visitable, the discovery barn open, and all the animals present and wanting to say hello,” added Carter.

“It’s a family friendly day. There will be tea and cake at the finish for everyone, it should be a very happy Father’s Day!”
For more information, visit http://www.bourtonroadrunners.co.uk/hillyhalf+funrun.htm#

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