Festival And A Half!
This West Yorkshire event promises a great race and a great time for the whole family...
There's a half marathon in West Yorkshire that is every bit a festival as it is a race. The Ilkley Half Marathon will take place on 10 July this year and will see runners test themselves on a beautiful course that meanders through the Yorkshire countryside.
Organised by Ilkley Round Table, the event was first staged in 2019 when £35,000 was raised all of which went to a number of local organisations across Wharfedale to support the community. A COVID-enforced absence from the calendar in 2020 didn't deter organisers from making a comeback in 2021 where this amount was exceeded despite the event not including a festival.
The Ilkley Half is the brainchild of Nick Helliwell, a Round Table member and keen runner himself. Nick explains: “We set out to create an event that runners would appreciate and enjoy. Ilkley has a great relationship with sporting events and we set out on a mission to add to that."
Back in 2019 whilst the race took place, spectators were treated to live music from the Ilkley Half Marathon Event Village, dubbed the 'Ilkley Half Festival'. With a range of food, drink and children’s entertainment on offer, Ilkley Round Table aimed to make the event as inclusive and family-friendly as possible.
Matthew Ward, Event Village Manager, was delighted with the turnout saying at the time: “We know from previous community events that Ilkley residents love to support good causes, especially when that’s combined with having fun. First and foremost in our minds was to give spectators and local residents a great place to relax, meet their friends and entertain their children before cheering home their heroes on the home straight.”
The good news is that the event village is back for 2022. With free entry, spectators, friends, family and runners can enjoy live music, children's entertainment and a wide range of food and drink options. Organisers have announced that they will be expanding the kids zone this year with a bungee trampoline and inflatable obstacle course adding to the popular previous attractions of the helter skelter, slides and climbing wall.
If it's the food you're interested in then be assured there will be plenty on offer with award-winning brownies, pork pies, traditional ice cream and Canadian poutine courtesy of the Spud Brothers all making an appearance.
If you'd like to know more you can visit the event website here.
Image: Ilkley Half Facebook