SUNDAY’S Burton 10 is on target to be the most successful ever.
Pre-entries are already at record levels, with more than 240 runners signed up.
Runners can still register on the day, and with online entries accepted up until 9pm on Friday, race organisers Burton Athletics Club are hoping to hit the 300 limit.
Burton AC vice-chairman Matt Benfield said: “We do expect some entries on the day, but we recommend people enter in advance online to ensure they are not disappointed.
“We have had entrants from as far afield as Edinburgh, Sheffield – and an Australian based in Fulham!
“With it being one of a few races that are 10 miles, we are finding people are travelling further to be part of the race.”
The current record of 274 finishers, with 227 pre-race entries, was set in 2012.
Benfield reckons the club’s active use of social media has been a key factor in boosting numbers for a race which is of huge significance to Burton AC.
He said: “It is important that this event is a success for the club, as without the valuable funds it generates we would be unable to provide opportunities for the young people of Burton and the surrounding area to participate in athletics.
“Last year Burton AC made an operating loss of more than £4,000 – from a £3,000 profit the year before.
“That was as a result of cutbacks in budgets, sponsorship and being unable to host the race in 2013.
“Events like the Burton 10 allows us to keep our younger generation fit and healthy and keep them off the streets and off their PlayStations!
Burton AC have also stoked up inter-club rivalry by encouraging local athletics clubs to be the most well represented on Sunday.
South Derbyshire Road Runners currently lead the way.
Benfield said: “The enthusiasm shown by the local community in supporting this event has been very encouraging.”
The Burton AC chairman also paid tribute to local businesses for their support including SmartTime, Bridge Brewery, Cineworld, Spondon Trophies, First Choice Cash and Carry, Derby Runner and East Staffordshire Borough Council.
Meanwhile, for those competing at the weekend, a helping hand will be on offer to gain quick times.
Burton AC’s Alex Benfield has agreed to run the first five miles as a pacemaker.
Benfield is aiming to clock between 25 and 27 minutes for the opening half of Sunday’s race.
The Burton 10 starts at 11am from Meadowside Leisure Centre. Online race fees are £15 affiliated runners and £17 those unaffiliated.
Those entering on the day – subject to the 300 limit not having been reached – face an additional £2 charge.
Runners must be aged 17 or over. For online entries visit www.burtonac.co.uk.