Race History

History of the Freckleton Half Marathon.

The race was first staged on Saturday evening 19th June 1965. The event was the idea of the then Chairman of the Sport Committee, Councillor Dick Rhodes who was inspired by Ron Hill’s entry in the marathon in the 1964 Olympics; he suggested that Ron be invited to run in the first race.

Much work needed to be done to put on such an ambitious event as part of what for many years had been a Club Day Sports confined to Freckleton residents. The Committee was fortunate to have the help and advice of Blackpool & Fylde Athletics Club. All the hard work came to fruition on that Saturday evening in June 1965.

By today’s standards, the entry was modest with some 53 entrants, mainly from local athletic clubs in Lancashire but some from further afield. The race was a success, not least because Ron Hill had accepted our invitation to run and indeed won the race in a time of 65.44. Four years later, he set an event record of 64.45 which stands to this day.

The race took place on Saturday evening until 1982 and whilst the runners were out on the course, the local adult sports were held. By then the entry had expanded to several hundred and the decision was taken to switch the Half Marathon to the Sunday afternoon in 1983; this, of course has had the effect of extending Club Day to a full weekend and from the number of people attending has been appreciated by the village.

The race currently attracts 850 entrants and has been over subscribed in recent years.

There have been a number of organisers since 1965 - Denis Vickers, Ken Snibson, Peter Knott, Richard Lancaster and Brian Porter from Wesham Road Runners. The latest is Peter Bosley, assisted by a small, enthusiastic team.

We introduced a fun run in 2005 which attracts almost 200 entrants and follows part of the half marathon route. Who knows, perhaps one of those fun runners may one day emulate the achievements of Ron Hill.