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Last Updated: Friday, 15 February 2008, 10:26 GMT
Robin Hood Festival comes to town
A runner at the 2007 Robin Hood Festival of Running
One 2007 finisher takes a well-earned rest (Picture by Angela Ellis)
This year's Robin Hood Festival of Running, Nottingham's biggest mass participation sporting event, is set to be bigger and better than ever before.

The Experian Robin Hood Festival of Running is the largest full and half-marathon combined event in the UK.

Originally intended as an event purely for serious runners, it has grown to include a host of different runs and events for all ages and abilities.

The 2008 Festival will take place over the weekend of 13 and 14 September.

The event now includes the full and half-marathons, the BBC Radio Nottingham Fun Run, the Don Scott Mini Marathon for schools, the Cooper Parry Corporate Challenge for businesses and the Hoofers Relay for groups.

The early launch date will hopefully encourage entrants to apply sooner, giving them even longer to prepare

Chris Sumner

With the main day - the Sunday - already packed with activities, this year the organisers are adding extra events on Saturday including races for children, a mascots' race and a live music and pasta party for those taking part.

Determined to make the event bigger and better than ever before Sweatshop, the festival organisers, launched this year's plans earlier than usual to give more people the chance to hear about the festival and to plan to take part.

Race director Chris Sumner said: "Just like this year's main event, we pulled out all the stops for the 2008 launch. The early launch date will hopefully encourage entrants to apply that bit sooner, giving them even longer to prepare for the event.

Runners from the 2007 Robin Hood Festival of Running
Two more runners celebrate a job well done

"With Shape-Up-Notts being so successful across the county, we hope this year's event will be the biggest and best yet and are urging everyone to get involved."

BBC Radio 1 presenter and Alzheimer's Society Ambassador Richard McCourt, Dick from Dick & Dom In Da Bungalow, will be in attendance to start and adjudicate the mascot race alongside current Sheriff of Nottingham, Jeannie Packer.

McCourt said: "I'm delighted to support the launch of the annual Experian Robin Hood Festival of Running as an ambassador for the Alzheimer's Society, one of its beneficiary charities.

"There are over 700,000 people in the UK living with dementia and I know from personal experience how devastating it can be."

This year's other official charities are CLIC Sargent, Headway and the National Fire Service Benevolent Fund.

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