MORE than £60,000 was raised for charity during this year’s Swindon Half Marathon.

Over 2,000 runners laced up their trainers before setting off on the 13.1-mile course earlier this month – with each competitor having a different reason for taking part.

Many decided to dedicate their run to charity and now, after adding up the pounds and pennies, organisers LG Running Ltd and 113 Events say more than £60,000 was raised by charitable runners.

One of the race directors, Graeme Hardie was thrilled to see how much has been raised so far. “The amount raised is outstanding with 90 per cent of the charities being local to the town, so it will benefit a lot of people,” he said.

“It is quite humbling that people chose to race to raise money at the Swindon half. A lot of the time people run for selfish reasons whether that is fitness and wellbeing, which are still respectable, but it is a great achievement for people to complete it to help others.

“As the race gets bigger and bigger, we want to reward people for raising money for charity not just by giving free slots but we will come up with a rewards system to give something back to them.

“I would rather give rewards to the people who do not come first but that go to the most effort to raise the most money.

“Hopefully this amount of money will motivate people to take part next year.”

The newly-relaunched event took runners on a flatter and faster course compared to previous years, past some of the town’s most iconic locations including the Magic Roundabout, the Oasis, the railway, the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet as well as Old Town.

One of the charities that benefitted from the day was Brighter Futures, for which 40 runners managed to raise £12,000.

Chloe Thomas, fundraising manager at Great Western Hospital said the team were bowled over by the figure.

“It has been fantastic and that amount will be split between the radiotherapy appeal, the special baby unit and the children’s ward,” she said.

“We spoke to pretty much everyone that signed up for the Swindon Half and there were lots of different motivations.

"Some people wanted to complete their first half marathon and raise awareness of Brighter Futures, whereas others had received amazing care in the baby unit and wanted to take part to help them purchase new equipment and that also goes for the children’s ward.

“There have been some really personal reasons for choosing Brighter Futures with everyone wanting to give back in one way or another.

“We estimated that £4,000 to £5,000 would be raised but we had no idea that we could get to £12,000.

“It is great to see the local community getting behind the hospital and wanting to give back.

“We hope it will encourage people to take part in next year’s event for us.”

While the race was deemed a huge success for the town, many unhappy residents commented on traffic chaos caused by road closures – something which organisers say will change ahead of next year.

One thing that will remain the same is the flatter route but it is anticipated that the race will start earlier in the day.

Graeme added: “We have good learning points but the positives to take away from it is that whatever caused a problem is easily resolved. I have said to people that we are not traffic management experts and that we got help there. I would be the first to say it didn’t work but we can work on that in the future.

“The route was designed by the running community and in agreement with the council it showcased the history of the town, the growing side of the town and at the same time, we demonstrated that it has nice little pockets of communities and it is a nice place for people to move to.

“The old route had its place and its time but it didn’t showcase Swindon.”