May 26 2011 by Paul Wheelock, Chester Chronicle
AFTER nearly two decades of organising the Shell Chester Half Marathon, West Cheshire AC officials have agreed to pass the baton to a local company they believe will make the race even bigger and better.
Wests have been the driving force behind the massively popular annual event for the last 18 years but from 2012 on the running of the race will be handed to Chris Hulse and Andy White of Ellesmere Port-based Active Leisure Events Ltd.
The duo were responsible for the creation of the MBNA Chester Marathon and Alan Morris is confident they have the skills and expertise to allow the Half Marathon to grow in strength.
Morris, who is the chairman of West Cheshire AC’s race organising committee, said: “The Shell Chester Half Marathon is a very popular event but the current course can’t cope with all the runners that want to take part.
“For the race to grow it needs a new route. West Cheshire AC’s organising committee is made up of volunteers who cannot take on the considerable work involved in planning and staging a significantly larger event.
“We have therefore signed an agreement with Active Leisure Events Ltd in partnership with the athletic club.
“Active Leisure Events have the skills and resources needed to expand the Half Marathon.”
West Cheshire AC will continue to provide volunteers and officials for the Half Marathon which has not only been an integral part of the area’s running calendar for 30 years, but continues to raise significant sums for local charities.
More than 2,000 runners from across the country took part in this year’s sold-out race, held earlier this month, and Active Leisure Events want to make it one of the best in the UK.
Hulse said: “We are privileged to become custodians of this iconic race and we are delighted to be supporting our local athletics club.
“Many of our team are veterans of the Chester Half Marathon and hold it in high regard and affection.
“We have exciting plans to develop the race into one of the UK’s premier half marathons.”
Morris added: “I am confident the Chester Half Marathon is in safe hands and will go from strength to strength.”