• Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Top Road Race Returns in Ali’s Honour

THE Voice of the Boro will be heard loud and clear when one of the region’s most popular events returns.

The Ali Brownlee Riverside Run was first renamed last year in honour of the local broadcasting legend who died last February after a short battle with cancer.

The new name for the Middlesbrough 5k Road Race and 2k Fun becomes a permanent fixture when the event returns on Sunday, July 2.

Middlesbrough Council and leisure services partner Everyone Active are hoping for another record turn-out for the run which takes in some of the town’s most striking landmarks including Temenos and the Transporter Bridge, before a memorable finish beside the hallowed turf inside the Riverside Stadium.

Commentary for this year’s race will be provided by Neil Green and Amy Oakden, current hosts of the BBC Tees Breakfast Show.

In addition to being the distinctive voice of countless Boro commentaries, Alastair was a passionate supporter of the local RunMiddlesbrough events, completing the Tees Pride 10k himself and acting as race commentator for many races.

His energy and enthusiasm helped many a runner over the finishing line, and his sudden passing was keenly felt by a great many people across Teesside and beyond.

Speaking ahead of the official launch of the 2017 event on Wednesday (March 1) Alastair’s widow Wendy said: “I am really honoured to have such a wonderful and prestigious event named after Ali – he would be so proud.

“I know what this event meant to him, he was always excited when he was leaving the house on the morning knowing he was going to meet so many people and to be able to cheer and encourage each and every one of them on.”

Race Director Jimmy Wattis, who got to know Alastair through a shared involvement in football long before the local road races were born, said: “I think it’s only fitting that this event which starts and finishes at the Riverside Stadium should be named after him.

“Many former players, coaching staff and celebrities who knew Ali will be lining up in great numbers alongside Ali’s wife and daughters Alison and Emily on Sunday, July 2 to honour him and I’m sure all those who have listened to his commentary and supported the Boro will be keen to do the same.”

Councillor Lewis Young, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Sport, said: “The renaming of the Ali Brownlee Riverside Run is a fitting tribute to a man who made a huge impression on the town and its people.

“He was a passionate champion of our RunMiddlesbrough events from the outset, and did a great detail to promote them and encourage others to take part.

“His sudden and untimely death was a terrible shock, but his name will live on in one of the flagship events on the town’s calendar.”

Paul Ayre, Middlesbrough’s Contract Manager for Everyone Active, said:

“We’re very proud to be supporting this event once again, in honour of a true local legend who was taken from us too soon.

“Alastair was a tireless and passionate supporter of events like these, and another fantastic turn-out for the 2017 Riverside Run will be a fitting tribute to him.”

 To register for either the 5k or 2k please visit www.runmiddlesbrough.com

Entries are also being taken for the 2017 Taylor Wimpey Tees Pride 10k and 3k Fun Run which takes place on Sunday, September 3.

For further information contact Jimmy Wattis on 01642 200833