Spectators are being urged to line the streets of Stoke-on-Trent as hundreds of runners take on this year’s Hanley Economic Building Society Potters ’Arf Marathon.
The event - on Sunday, June 9 - sees more than 1,700 participants tackling the 13.1-mile course, which includes challenging sections such as Anchor Road and the infamous ‘Heartbreak Hill’ on Milton Road.
Runners - including the first leg of the relay teams - will gather in Huntbach Street, Hanley, and then start at 10.30am from Potteries Way; finishing back in the city centre at the Sir Stanley Matthews statue near the intu Potteries Shopping Centre.
Walkers start at 9am, while the 1,000-metre junior race - for young people aged between six and 15 - begins at 10.50am.
More details about the route and timings are available on the ‘race day’ section of potters-arf.co.uk.
Everyone who finishes the Potters ’Arf receives a t-shirt and goody bag, as well as a medal created by Wade Ceramics which includes a time bonus ribbon for those achieving sub-two hours, one hour 45 minutes, and one hour 30 minutes.
Race winners receive stunning trophies made by pottery company Emma Bridgewater and the top teams get fantastic ‘gluggle jugs’ created by Stoke-on-Trent’s Wade Ceramics. Trophy presentations take place at the Hanley Economic branch in Lamb Street, Hanley, at about 1pm.
Councillor Lorraine Beardmore, cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure, said: “The Potters 'Arf is one of the most unique and inspiring half marathons in the country. The support on the route is something special and the atmosphere at the city centre finish is amazing.
“The junior event is also a fantastic part of the ’Arf and can inspire future generations to take up running and keep fit. Many previous young entrants have actually gone on to take on the main race – so it’s definitely an inspiration for children in the city.
“Our council and partner organisations have worked for months to support this event and the Potters ’Arf is a fantastic example of how this great city comes together for events like this. It will show the amazing community spirit across Stoke-on-Trent and the passion for sport that this city has. Good luck to everyone who’s taking part.”
David Lownds, head of sales, marketing and business development at the Hanley Economic Building Society, said: “We are looking forward to another successful Potters ’Arf Marathon. As a local business, supporting our community is a key priority and once again, we’re delighted to be involved in this famous local event. Hanley Economic have supported the Potters ’Arf for 15 years now and it’s always a brilliant atmosphere, a real pleasure to be a part of.”
Around 30,000 people have taken part in the Potters 'Arf over the past 15 years and the event has raised more than £1 million for charities.
Participants and spectators are being encouraged to use the hashtag #PottersArf on social media to post messages, pictures and video.
There will be a number of road closures during the Potters ’Arf. Information about these is available at roadworks.org.