Farnborough's penguins are on ice until July!
Farnborough Winter Half will be ready for 2,000 runners after a six month postponement to Sunday 11 July
Penguins in Farnborough – in July? That indeed is the prospect for the 2021 edition of the ever-popular Farnborough Winter Half, postponed from its usual chilly January slot to a hopefully much warmer Sunday 11 July.
Farnborough-based 2:09 Events are promoting the Farnborough Winter Half and will be retaining much of the winter theme that helps make this race such a favourite for elite internationals and fund-raising fun runners alike, as 1982 Commonwealth Marathon bronze medallist and '83 London winner (2:09:43) Mike Gratton, owner of 2:09 Events, explained to runABC South:
“After such a stop-start running year we are very pleased to be back with the Farnborough Winter Half – in July! It might be the height of the summer, but we will be keeping the Penguin theme going at this event – it just adds to the fun. The start and finish will remain under the historic Airship Hangar at Farnborough Business Park, where the open space is ideal for handling a large gathering safely”.
Mike also told us: “The race will start in waves in July, even though it is after the proposed 21st June opening of society. With runners' and helpers' safety in mind, we felt it was still the best way to go ahead in the current climate. The longer timescale necessary to get everyone off the start line in the half means we will have to drop the supporting 5K for this summer but hope to have that back in January when the race will return to its usual winter date”.
The winning times in the last Farnborough Winter Half, held in snowy conditions on 26 January 2020, were 1:10:37 by Denmark's Casper Højsgaard Jensen (HMRC Racing) and an exceptionally quick 1:15:39 by regular GB international Tracy Barlow (Thames Valley Harriers) – just three weeks before her PB 1:12:12 in a much warmer Barcelona.
There were 1,935 finishers in 3:14:29 last year; more than 1,200 beat two hours and over 200 were inside 90 minutes on the predominantly flat, fast course. Farnborough itself was founded in Saxon times, is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, and takes its name from the word Ferneberga which means “fern hill”.
Mike Gratton also advised runABC South that entries for the unique Farnborough Winter Half in summer are heading towards the 2021 race limit of 2,000 so if you want your feet to take flight at the ancestral home of British aviation you need to taxi towards the entry runway now!
Race details and entries at Farnborough Winter Half website
Image: Farnborough Winter Half courtesy 2:09 Events