Find out more about the wonderful marshals that help you round the course!
The ABP Southampton Marathon, Half & 10k would not be possible without the help of volunteers from the local community. Volunteers help with marshalling the route, managing the baggage hall, at the water stations and in the finish area handing out medals and goodies. Each group of volunteers is called a ‘Mile Maker Group’ because they truly ‘make each mile’ possible! Charities and Community Groups from across Southampton join the organising team on the day and in return receive a thank you donation from ABP Southampton, the event’s sponsors.
Alastair Welch, the Port Director from ABP Southampton, commented; “Supporting the local community is something we’re really passionate about. The Mile Makers play such a valuable role during the marathon, cheering the runners on, and we’re glad that our sponsorship has been able to make such a difference to their causes and organisations.”
This year’s event saw over 900 people volunteer, comprising of individuals and 34 community groups.
News of the volunteering opportunity must be spreading as there were lots of new groups dotted around the route this year, including; Oakwood Jets Football Club, Hamble Aquatics Swim Team, St Mary’s Church and Millbrook Rugby Club. There was also an increase in charities getting involved with groups of volunteers coming from Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, Countess Mountbatten Hospice Charity, the Southampton & District Samaritans and Southampton Hospital Charity!
As the runners cross the finish line they receive their medal and goodie bags from the younger volunteers, who work so hard! Guides and Scouts were busy from 7am filling water bottles and packing goodie bags ready for the participants return later in the day. You may remember being presented your finisher goodies by; 4th Hedge End Guides, 31st Itchen North Amazon Sea Scouts, Hamble Sea Scouts or 1st Bittern Park Guides.
Kate Warne, Community Liaison Officer at ReesLeisure, explains: ‘Our volunteers are amazing and our events couldn’t take place without them! Some of the groups have been involved since year one in 2015 and have signed up again for next year already! We have received fantastic feedback from runners complimenting the marshals on their support and the great sense of community spirit along the route.’
Each year the participants are asked to vote for the ‘Best Mile Maker Group’ and the winning group receive an extra donation. This year the winners (for the third year running!) were Itchen Spitfires Running Club, who received an overwhelming amount of votes with comments such as; ‘They provided so much encouragement to get people to the finish line. Very friendly, cheered until the end! Brilliant support just when I needed it in the last couple of hundred yards’
Check out our full photo album HERE