Local good causes benefit from Dorchester Marathon

Some of the money raised at this year’s Dorchester Marathon and Casterbridge Half Marathon was presented to a number of local charities and good causes at a celebration event in the Corn Exchange.

In total, over £13,000 has been raised for good causes and almost £6,000 of it was handed out at the celebration event.

Representatives from charities who had helped in staging the event and some parish councils who had been impacted by the event were invited along to receive a cheque for their community projects, and to find out more about the success of this year’s races.

Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance was the main charitable beneficiary of the 2017 event and the cheque was received by Leanne Colverson, Dorset fundraising coordinator.  She said: “I want to say a huge thank you to everyone for helping to raise this money.  It really does make a difference and helps to keep the air ambulance flying.”

The celebration event was also attended by many of the volunteers from the day, including the marshals, those at the aid stations and those looking after the runners’ village.

John Adams, chair of the organisation committee and member of Casterbridge Rotary which masterminded the event, thanked them all and told them: “You should all be very proud of what you have achieved.  It took around 200 volunteers to make the marathon and half marathon happen and we really couldn’t have done it without you”

“It was a special event because it not only brought the community together to put on a high quality sporting occasion, but uniquely gave athletes the opportunity to come to an enjoyable event over a whole weekend rather than just a marathon.  We managed to combine a nationally recognised marathon with an enjoyable weekend in glorious West Dorset and supported the local economy by bringing around 4,000 extra people to our county town”

John paid a special thanks to White Star Running who organised the races and also provided expert staff around the course.  He said: “I know many of you would rather have been running in the races, but your expertise was essential in providing a first-class event.”

There were around 1,400 runners in the two races and one of them, Catriona Fountain, head of communication at Magna Housing, spoke on their behalf to thank all the volunteers.  She said: “Taking part in the marathon was an absolutely amazing experience and we couldn’t have done it without the marshals and other volunteers.  I thank you wholeheartedly for making it possible.  The atmosphere was amazing and I can’t wait to do it all again next year.”

John added: “Casterbridge Rotary Club will be announcing in the next few weeks how other local charities and good causes can apply for a share of the profits from the event. This will be widely advertised in the local press, radio and on the Dorchester Marathon website.”


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Leanne Colverson, Dorset fundraising coordinator for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, receives the cheque from Les Fry, chairman of Casterbridge Rotary

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Cllr Susie Hosford, Mayor of Dorchester, receives a cheque for the Mayor’s Charity from Les Fry, chairman of Casterbridge Rotary

Date: 4 September 2017

Press release

On your marks…Get set…Go!!!!!

Entries for next year’s Dorchester marathon and half marathon open this week and the organisers from Casterbridge Rotary Club and White Star Running have started work already to put the event together for next May.

The races will take place on Sunday 27 May 2018 with a route that takes in Dorchester town centre and surrounding villages.

Andy Palmer, race director, said, “We had such great feedback from all of the runners this year.  Many of them said it was the best marathon they had ever run and they loved running through the beautiful countryside around Dorchester.

“We had over 200 local runners this year and we hope to have even more for 2018.”

Catriona Fountain was one of the team running from Magna Housing, based in Dorchester.  She said: “This was my first marathon and I couldn’t have asked for anything better.  White Star and Casterbridge Rotary did a fantastic job of organising it and the marshalls were all brilliant.

“We had a great turn out from everyone cheering us on in Dorchester and all the villages we ran through.  I can’t wait to do it all again!”

In a letter to the president of Casterbridge Rotary Club, the mayor of Dorchester, Councillor Susie Hosford, said: “All the runners, supporters and spectators that I spoke to were having a great time and were full of praise for the way the whole event was staged and managed and many told me that they would be looking forward to coming back next year!  It was truly inspirational to see so many people involved, both runners and supporters.”

John Adams, who chaired the organising committee, said: “We are delighted that the inaugural Dorchester Marathon was a great success and that it inspired so many local runners and helpers to become involved in this new community event.

“We are most grateful for the excellent support from local residents, voluntary organisations, businesses, councils and over 100 locals marshals and helpers, who should all be proud of what they collectively have achieved!

“We are particularly grateful to the landowners whose land we rely on and Dorset County Council who helped with the traffic management.  Without them the event simply wouldn’t happen.”

The event was set up originally to raise money for local charities and good causes as well as to support the local economy and inspire community participation.  The organisers are pleased that it did all those things with 3000 extra visitors to the county town over the weekend.

John added: “In its first year the event made £13K which will be awarded to local charities and good causes and Casterbridge Rotary Club will shortly be announcing how local organisations can apply for a share of the money.

“Anyone who wants to take part in next year’s marathon or half marathon can apply through the Dorchester Marathon website from Friday 8 September as we look forward to a bigger and even better event in 2018!”



The start of the 2017 Dorchester marathon.