Regular cider stops will be feature of new half-marathon

November 04 2017
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A NEW half-marathon event with a very Somerset flavour is being launched in Wells next April.

Entrants in the 13.1-mile Ciderthon will be able to stop every mile for a glass of cider.

The first event of its kind in the UK will start and finish in the Market Place, and take runners – who will be encouraged to take part in fancy dress – on a scenic tour of the surrounding countryside.

Every mile along the way there will be a stall showcasing the best in West Country ciders, which runners will be free to sample. Local cheeses and apple juices will also be available.

“The idea for the Ciderthon came from a similar event which takes place in the Bordeaux region of France called Marathon Du Medoc which is a full marathon with wine tasting stops every mile,” said race organiser Nikki Hawkes.

“I tried to get a ticket but they had sold out. So I thought what if people wanted to do something similar near my home town Cheddar... but with cider?”

She chose Wells as a location, she said, because “I wanted views of Glastonbury Tor and a pretty town centre for the run to start in or go through.

“With the Wells farmers market I also felt it embodied Somerset really well.”

Nikki, aged 22, started running herself when she decided to raise money for Parkinson’s UK in honour of her grandfather. She said: “I haven’t looked back since, and have done a few half and full marathons and triathlons.”

She was working as an actuary until recently, but having been involved in a lot of social enterprise and business projects at university, she realised that she wanted to do something different.

The Ciderthon is her first new project. As well as aiming to be fun for participants, it will raise money for charity.

Tickets will be available on the event website, which is due to go live any day. Organisers are also currently recruiting event stewards. Nikki added: “The main milestone for the half marathon now is to cement the partnerships with the cider companies who are interested in collaborating with the event. We want the very best cider from the very best producers around the South West.”