West Sussex runners invited to join in Marwell 10k

West Sussex runners are being urged to cross the county border into Hampshire for Marwell Zoo’s biggest challenge event of the year.

This year’s Marwell 10k Road Race and Fun Race will take place on Sunday, May 12 in association with Hedge End Running Club – all with the aim of raising funds for wildlife conservation and for the care of animals in the zoo.

Sussex Newspapers arts editor and keen marathon runner Phil Hewitt said: “The 10k covers a great, undulating course through the Hampshire countryside, starting and finishing in Marwell Zoo.

“The zoo is a fabulous place to visit, just outside Bishop’s Waltham, and the thought of all those animals and their welfare will be a great spur to enjoying a great run for a great cause.”

Phil, the author of Keep On Running: The Highs And Lows Of A Marathon Addict (Summersdale, 2012), said: “Running the shorter races is supposed to be terrific training for running the longer races such as marathons; the Marwell 10k is definitely on my calendar.”

Zoo spokeswoman Becky Churcher said: “Children aged 5-11 can take part in the Fun Race which covers a 1.5k loop of the zoo past penguins, giraffes, leopards and rhinos. There’s also a fancy dress competition with great prizes on offer.

“This is a fantastic, family event so bring your loved ones and make a day of it. All runners receive free zoo entry as part of their race fee and there’s reduced price entry for supporters too.

“Last year the charity raised more than £11,000 which not only contributed to the £120 cost per day of the hay for the animals, but also supported their rhino conservation in Zimbabwe and habitat restoration in Marwell’s ancient woodlands.”

Lisa Reynolds, membership and adoptions manager at Marwell, said: “Whether you want to sprint, stomp, slither or waddle around the course, this event provides runners of all abilities with an unforgettable experience. And you can do good at the same time by fundraising for a great cause!

“Invite your family and friends along to cheer you over the line and then spend the rest of the day relaxing in the zoo. Marwell will be open until 6pm so there’s plenty of time to unwind and stretch those aching legs!

“Once you have signed up to the race you can start fundraising straight away. Visit Marwell’s website at www.marwell.org.uk to download your fundraising pack.”

Race facts

* All entry fees to the event include entry into the zoo for the day, a goodie bag and a commemorative medal.

* Chipped timing will be used for all 10k runners

* The zoo offers ample parking, toilet facilities, catering outlets and a baggage area for runners.

* Entry fees for the 10k road race costs £13 for affiliated runners and £15 for non club runners.

* The entry fee for all runners in the Fun Race costs £6.

* For more information contact Marwell’s fundraising team on 01962 777988 or email fundraising@marwell.org.uk.