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20 years’ service to Sheffield half-marathon

Ian and Judy Thomas, entry co-ordinators for Sheffield Half Marathon, are stepping down after 19 years of volunteering for the event.

Ian and Judy Thomas, entry co-ordinators for Sheffield Half Marathon, are stepping down after 19 years of volunteering for the event.

A HUSBAND and wife duo who have dedicated almost two decades to one of Sheffield’s biggest sporting events are stepping down.

Ian and Judy Thomas, the couple who co-ordinate the thousands of entries for Sheffield Half-Marathon every year, have decided to put their feet up after 19 years of volunteering for organisers.

Ian, aged 75, first started collating results for the event in 1994.

The computing enthusiast was enlisted to help after being one of the first people to develop programmes to produce results of competitors in races across the country.

Modern technology might have taken over from his efforts in more recent years, but it did not stop Ian and Judy, of Sandygate, from giving their spare time to the annual event.

Every year the couple have to prepare entry forms for posting, send out race numbers and information to all participants and give runners their race results after the big day.

It is no mean feat – last year 7,200 people pounded the streets of Sheffield city centre for the 13-mile race.

Ian said: “There is an awful lot of mailing done.

“We don’t do it at home – in recent years Sheffield Wildlife Trust have let us use a space but before charities were involved we’d do it where ever we could.

“Fortunately non-lick stamps came in.”

He added: “It has been interesting seeing how it has changed over the years.

“When I joined there were 3,000 runners, then it sank to 1,600 and built up again, probably because we became more fitness aware.

“It is such a big event but it is run by a small group of very dedicated volunteers.

“I am in my mid-70s now and I think I have had enough – but I would still like to help organisers in any way I can in the future.

Ian added: “We are very proud to have been a part of it.”

n Visit Sheffield Marathon to enter this year’s race, which takes place on Sunday, May 12.

 

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