18th December 2008

Bristol Selected For World Half Trials



18 December 2008




Next September’s Bristol Half Marathon has been chosen as the venue for the UK Trials for the 2009 IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.

Selected by UK Athletics in conjunction with Run Britain, the trials will take on extra significance with the World Championships being held on home turf in Birmingham on 11 October, just five weeks after the Bristol event on 6 September.

Well established as one of the most prestigious events on the British road race calendar attracting over 15,000 runners annually, the 2009 Bristol Half Marathon will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of its first ever staging back in 1989.

Bristol was chosen for a number of reasons, among these the suitability of the date, the fast course, the reputation for high organisational standards but most notably the leaning towards the importance of the British field and a British prize money list.

Ian Stewart, UK Athletics National Endurance Coach said: “The opportunity to compete in British vest in a World Championship in Britain is a rare privilege and one that does not come along that often. Indeed this will be the only opportunity for British athletes to sample that experience before the London 2012 Olympic Games.

“The Bristol Half Marathon is a fair test for our long distance runners and I will be expecting to see some fully committed and highly motivated athletes vying for places on the team for Birmingham, leading to some exciting racing at the sharp end of the field.”  


The selection for criteria for the GB & NI Team will be announced in due course.


Geoff Wightman, the Chairman of Run Britain said: “The Bristol Half Marathon has consistently grown in significance and attractiveness in recent years and it was a “no-brainer” to award the trials of next year’s event to the city”


Councillor Rosalie Walker, Cabinet member for Culture and Healthy Communities at Bristol City Council who organise the event was delighted to win the tough bidding contest to host the trials.


“We have targeted hosting the trials before the World Half Marathon in Birmingham for some time and are thrilled and relieved to have been awarded the event. The challenge for us as an organising committee is to attract the “Best of British” to the event in September and to make the Bristol half Marathon the best for a long time”