A POPULAR running event could return bigger than ever if local businesses can offer their support, organisers have said.

The Leader reported yesterday how a record number of runners turned out to participate in Wrexham's annual Village Bakery Half Marathon.

Organiser Mike Harrington said he was delighted to see almost 2,000 runners set off from near The Clubhouse at Wrexham Industrial Estate and run a five-mile lap followed by a longer, eight-mile loop, finishing back near The Clubhouse.

But he said in order for the event to grow any larger it would require more parking facilities.

Mr Harrington said: "We had a record number of runners with almost 2,000 people taking part from all over Wales.”

“I think we will have to go some way to beat those numbers but in terms of size I think we have reached capacity at the moment.

“It is all down to parking - if any local businesses want to come forward to help with parking I don’t think there’s any reason we can’t get that number up to about 3,000 in the future. The appetite is definitely there.”

Organised by Cheshire-based Cute Fruit Events with help from Wrexham Amateur Athletics Club, the predominantly flat-course race - which has been going for more than 20 years - is popular with some of the fastest runners in the region as well as those tackling the distance for the first time.

The race was won by Trafford Athletic Club runner Tom Charles. He finished with a time of 01.08.42.

He was followed by second place Salford Harriers runner Carl Hardman in the senior category with a time of 01.09.23 and third place Tipton Harriers runner Martin Williams in the vet 40 category with a time of 01.11.11.

The Village Bakery Half Marathon was devised by successful triathlete and ‘Iron Man’ Peter Norman, 77.

He established the event in 1995 when he was working as a maintenance engineer with the Village Bakery who have sponsored the event since.

For more information, visit: www.cutefruitevents.com/village-bakery-wrexham-half/