By Chief Correspondent Rob Thomas
CARBS loaded, race numbers in place, and timers on wrists, more than 1,800 runners will line up in Browndown Road for the start of this year’s Gosport Half Marathon at 10am on Sunday – November 21.
Organised by Gosport Road Runners, it will be the 35th running of the race and there is added enthusiasm because last year’s event was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is a two-lap run with the route of each lap being left out of Browndown Road onto Privett Road and Portsmouth Road towards Lee-on-the-Solent, along Marine Parade East and West to Crofton Avenue and onto Salterns Road before returning via the Promenade to Portsmouth Road and back to Browndown Road.
The runners will be required to use the pavements where the roads – such as Portsmouth Road and Marine Parade East and West – are still open to traffic but the following roads will be closed:
- Browndown Road – closed to through traffic 08.30am – 14.00pm, but closing later at Privett Road end for car-parking
- Salterns Road – 10. 00am – 12.45pm
- Privett Road – from Grange Road roundabout to Browndown Road the road will be closed to westbound traffic (eastbound remains open) 09.50am – 12.30pm.
As well as drivers having to be aware of the runners, walkers – especially along Lee Promenade – will also need to keep their wits about them as the fast and not-so-fast competitors come passed.
To encourage the weary and the footsore, Gosport’s Big Noise Samba Band will be beating out a rhythm at Monks Hill car park between 10am – 1pm.
Members of Gosport Road Runners are not allowed to enter the race because they are needed for various tasks including acting as marshals, and they will be joined scouts and cadets along the way.
Best places to spectate
The organisers advise that a good place for spectators will be on Privett/Portsmouth Road between Browndown Road and the turn to Cherque Way. It will have access to refreshments and toilets, and – because it is a two-lap course – they will be able to see the runners up to four times.
Almost as good will be Lee seafront where spectators can move between Marine Parade East or West and the Promenade.
Children’s Fun Run
While the runners are off and running, there will be a non-competitive run for children aged 11 and under – they can be accompanied by an adult – and every child will receive a medal and a goodie bag.
There are 100 places available for the run and entry – costing £2 – is on the day by going to the Registration Desk in Bay House School – the headquarters for the event – before 9.45am. The entry form is available on the organiser’s website.
This 1.2k Fun Run will start at 10.20am on the grassed area at Stokes Bay opposite the Diving Museum.
The weather forecast looks good for both runners and spectators – BBC Weather is predicting dry conditions, sunny intervals and a moderate breeze with temperatures of 7o or 8oC.
The fastest runners can be expected to take just over an hour – in 2019, the winner was Daniel Eckersley from Kingston AC and Poly Harriers and he completed the run in 1 hour, 9 minutes and 41 seconds.
After the main and fun runs – at about 12.30pm – there will be the presentation of individual awards at Race HQ in the Bay House School hall. Team prizes will be sent out later once the results have been verified.
Gosport Half Marathon is sponsored by Alexandra Sports, Solent Sports Injury Clinic and JDW Coaching, and surplus profits will be donated to local good causes – in the past, this has been about £10,000 each year.
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