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Tour-Iffic Race IS Back
Friday 5th February 2016 @ 14:39 by Mark Phillip

The historic Tour of Tameside running event returns to the streets of Tameside and Glossopdale for a second consecutive year in June.

Created in the 1980’s by legendary marathon runner Dr Ron Hill MBE, the iconic running event returned last Summer after a fourteen year absence.

Reintroduced by Sports Tours International, the Tour attracted a good mix of club class competitors, social runners and charity fundraisers across a three day period.

Due to the success of last year’s event, the organisers have decided to introduce an additional days running to this summer’s marathon.

The 2016 event will be a four day festival of running, one day more than 2015 which will take in the best sights and sounds that Tameside has to offer.

As well as last year’s Copley Fell Race, High Peak Half Marathon and Hyde 7 Mile events, this year’s spectacle will also include a Cross Trail 10km run.

The four stages will take place from Thursday, June 16, until Sunday, June 19.

Willow Wood Hospice has become an official charity partner to this year’s event.

Head of Fundraising, John Fellowes, speaking at the launch last Friday, said: “Willow Wood Hospice is obviously here for the people of Tameside and Glossop.

“We were delighted to have been chosen as an official partner for the Tour of Tameside.

“To have the hospice associated with the event is a tremendous opportunity for us.

“There’s also a fundraising element for us, so we’re encouraging people to take part in the event to raise money for the hospice, but it’s also a marvellous opportunity to get Tameside up and running.”

I’m delighted to announce that I’ll be running the High Peak Half Marathon in aid of the hospice, and details of how you can donate to the cause will be published in next week’s Tameside Reporter.

John explained how the Hospice became an official charity partner. He added: “We knew Chris Bird (CEO of Sports Tours International) through our involvement with participants in the New York and Berlin marathon.

“I know Chris’s wife, who’s involved with the rotary club in Hyde, so it was a natural progression really.

“I made a comment to him a year ago, explaining that we’d be delighted to be involved at a future event, and the end result is that we’re here today at the official launch.”

Following last year’s success, New Charter Group have remained as an official partner.

Speaking about their involvement, Deputy Chief Executive, Martin Frost stated: “We felt that the relaunch last year was a great event, and we were pleased to be involved with it at that stage.

“Because it’s such a community event – and New Charter’s about communities locally – the two things go together very nicely, so we’re very pleased to be able to support the event once again.

“We were very impressed with the way it was organised last year, because when you think about the logistics of putting three races together – and indeed four in this year’s case – the process of organising traffic, getting police involved and distributing refreshments was absolutely brilliant.

“I saw some supreme runners coming down Market Street on the last day, but I also saw some fun runners enjoying the experience and raising cash – it’s a real community event.”

Excitement is steadily building ahead of the event, and leading pioneer, Ron, is more than raring to go. He concluded: “I observed some of the races last year, but didn’t take part, but I will do one of the stages this year, and I’m sure it will go from strength to strength.

“It all takes time, but when people realise that the tour is back, it will start to attract people from all over Britain.”