Two former international athletes want to encourage more people from disadvantaged backgrounds to take up running.
Matt Wood and Ben Green, who have both run for England, have launched The RunThrough Foundation, to help more people get into the sport and experience the physical and mental health benefits of running.
The foundation’s inaugural Warrington Running Festival is unique – it is the first totally free-to-enter UK running race. Offering a kids race, 5k, 10k and half marathon distances to 6,000 entrants via a ballot entry, the 2023 event is designed to break down the economic barriers to taking part in a mass-participation running event.
The Warrington Running Festival taking place on the 24 September 2023 will run on a closed-road course and will be chip-timed. The ballot is open now and taking entries at: www.runthrough.co.uk/event/warrington-running-festival-2023/.
Foundation co-founder, Matt Wood says:
“Running is one of the most accessible sports in the UK, but the cost of entering events can be a big barrier. Although we have been planning the launch of the Foundation for some time, the rising costs of food, fuel and energy have made this even more prominent in recent months.
“By opening the doors of a mass participation running event to people who can’t normally afford entry fees, we aim to introduce more people to the running community and all the positive physical, mental and social benefits it brings.”
The intention is for the Foundation to launch other free running events across the UK in the following years.
The RunThrough Foundation has partnered up with various charities including ‘Home Start Warrington’ a charity who help parents and families through challenging times, and the Warrington based St Rocco’s Hospice providing support and specialist care for those with life limiting diagnosis. Through working with charities, the Foundation aims to reach out to those in need of a physical and mental outreach, and aid fundraising efforts along the way.
The event is supported by ‘Lets Do This’ the UK’s largest mass participation booking site, along with Watsons Solicitors in Warrington, both contributing to getting the event over the start line and completely free for all participants.