Following another hugely successful year for the Reading Half Marathon, it has now been revealed that runners who took part in the 2017 event raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charities across Berkshire.

Reading Half Marathon’s 2017 headline charity, Cancer Research UK, were at the forefront of this, leading the way with a staggering total of £140,000 raised. The charity remains a popular choice for runners with a passion for supporting the fight for a cure against all cancers.

Partner charities CLIC Sargent and Babies in Buscot Support (BIBS) raised an impressive £6,350 and £38,000 respectively. 2017 was a record-breaking year for BIBS, who doubled the amount raised from the previous year, with funds planned to go towards the purchase of 13 pieces of life-saving equipment.

Reading Samaritans, Berkshire Community Foundation, First Days and Berkshire MS Therapy Centre made up the local charity partners. The charities managed to raise a combined total of over £12,000, with the money going towards helping local people and projects across the county.

Some of the other large fundraisers included Macmillan Cancer Support, £37,000, Sue Ryder, £31,000, Thames Valley Air Ambulance, £9,995 and Against Breast Cancer, £2,500.

Many runners opted to fundraise online using the Virgin Money Giving system. So far, the total amount raised (excluding Gift Aid) through this site has reached £91,226. On average, each individual raised £463.06 for their chosen charity, up 25% from 2016.

Judith Manson, Race Director of the Reading Half Marathon, comments: “It is always great to see the runners who participate on behalf of a charity because they have that extra drive to really push themselves across the finish line as they are doing it for a cause close to their hearts. We’re proud that year on year these people continue to give their support to charity and the event.”

The Reading Half Marathon will return on Sunday 18th March 2018 and race organiser, Sweatshop, is hoping to build on the fantastic achievements from 2017 by calling on charities to drive awareness through the well-established sporting event. One of the largest half marathons in the UK, the event had almost 15,000 registered runners in 2017, providing the perfect platform to showcase an organisation and raise vital funds.

Race charity packages differ in their offering with the option of platinum, gold, silver, bronze or local (charity must be local to Reading/Berkshire without a national focus). Fundamental advantages of all packages include the chance to develop new relationships with key stakeholders, the opportunity to engage with participants before, during and after the event and charity runner places with a dedicated wave within the start zone.

Judith added: “Charities are integral to the Reading Half Marathon and we’d like to think this works both ways. We’ve already confirmed a number of charity partners, and we’re so pleased to welcome back Cancer Research UK as Headline Charity, Macmillan Cancer Support as a Platinum Charity Partner and Alzheimer’s Society as a Gold Partner. The 2018 event promises to be another great year for charities to spread the word about the brilliant work they’re doing while raising vital funds.”

Charity packages will sell out fast so to find out more, please email events@sweatshop.co.uk with your charity’s details and goals for the event. For more event information visit: www.readinghalfmarathon.com.