A BRAND new race has been announced to be held in Whitchurch.

The Whitchurch 10k will be taking place on Sunday, 4 March, raising money for the Sutton Scotney-based charities Naomi House and Jacksplace.

Despite its name, the Whitchurch 10k can be run in either a 5k or a 10k format, and is the first of its kind in Whitchurch.

Martin Dawson, a former Whitchurch resident and keen runner, said: “Being an old Whitchurch resident, I know what a great place it is, and I’m trying to get as many people as I can to come down to the town. I grew up there, and I wanted to set up a run as it is a lovely local place.”

The route starts and finishes at Testbourne Community School, and the route has been selected to be mostly flat to make it more accessible to runners of all levels.

The route will follow Micheldever Road to the Recreation Ground, before going back around Whitchurch Primary School and then it follows the River Test to the Hangings.

From there, the course goes to Southfield Farm crossing Micheldever Road before going back around the playing fields of Testbourne Community School to finish.

Those who are taking part in the longer 10k format will be running the same 5k course again.

The route goes over different terrain, including grass and pavements, so suitable footwear is advised.

Martin added: “You don’t need to be a running veteran to be able to run the course.

“It’s purposely easy enough so that we can get as many people as we can involved, but interesting enough so that people will want to take part.”

A portion of all the entry fees will be given to Naomi House and Jacksplace, but those who are taking part can also fundraise if they wish.

Martin is also looking for local businesses to help the event through sponsorship - there are several aspects of the race that can be sponsored.

The run will cost £10 to enter for the 5k route and £15 for the 10k route, including a medal for the finishers, a goody bag, having the run timed and to cover marshalling. There will also be hot and cold food and drinks available.

For more information and to sign up, go to whitchurch10k.co.uk.