Potters ‘Arf Marathon 2021

It’s back!!

Planning for the Potters ‘arf marathon 2021 is underway, online entries have opened and we couldn’t be happier! Not only has it been a very strange 12 months, with the minor inconvenience of a global pandemic to contend with, but with many events being cancelled, it has been a rather bleak time for marathon enthusiasts. Since it began, we have seen more than 30,000 people take part in the Potters ’Arf.

This event usually takes place on the second Sunday in June, however the decision has been made to push this to Sunday 26th September. This decision follows the latest Government and national sporting body advice.

The Hanley Economic Potters ’arf Marathon is one of the city’s most popular occasions, and organisers are hoping that around 2,000 participants will take part this year.

Whether you fancy running the 13.1 miles, walking it or even doing it as part of a relay, you can visit the website at stoke.gov.uk/pottersarf to book your place.

There is also a 1,000-metre junior race for youngsters aged six to 15 years old, so youngsters need not miss out!

All participants who complete the course receive a goody bag and special Potters ’Arf medal.

Councillor Lorraine Beardmore, Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for public health, culture and leisure, said:

We can’t wait to welcome back the Potters ‘Arf. It’s such an inspiring, unique and community-spirited occasion that brings so many benefits for Stoke-on-Trent.

For those who take on the challenge, it’s a great boost for mental and physical health. The effects of the pandemic have highlighted just how important those things are, so we’re encouraging as many people as possible to give it a go and sign up for the challenge.

Remember, you don’t have to run. You can form a relay team so each person only has to cover part of the course. This year we’d love even more groups to take part in the relay, so if you’ve got friends or colleagues who fancy having a go, make sure check out the website.

Alternatively, you can join the walking event which sets off earlier from the city centre and always has a really fantastic atmosphere. It’s just a wonderful thing to be part of.

You would usually find us at the Potters ’Arf launch event at the Victoria Hall in January, where previously, entrants have also been able to sign up. However, due to the pandemic, there will currently be online entries only at https://www.stoke.gov.uk/pottersarf

Deferred entrants from the cancelled 2020 event will be contacted separately by email in the coming weeks, with information on how to register. This will be from Stoke Council so keep a look out for that one.

Richard Buxton, Stoke-on-Trent City Centre BID Manager, said:

The Potters ‘Arf is an amazing half marathon event, loved locally and nationally by runners, residents and businesses alike. Stoke-on-Trent City Centre BID is very proud to be supporting the event and we look forward to welcoming people to our city centre.

Over the years the Potters’ Arf has also raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for many local charities.

Donna Adams, head of fundraising and lottery at Dougie Mac – one of the race’s main charities, said:

The Potters ‘Arf is a fantastic local running event that Dougie Mac are always delighted to be involved with.

Support from our community through events such as the Potters ‘Arf ensures our patients and their families can access specialist end-of-life care at a time when they need it most.

After such a challenging year we are delighted to see the Potters ‘Arf return for 2021. We wish all participants the very best of luck and thank those taking part to raise essential funds for Dougie Mac.

Steph Talbot, CEO of the Alice Charity – one of the race’s other main causes, said:

As we start to ease out of lockdown, how amazing it is that the Potters ’Arf is able to proceed, encouraging us all to take part in exercise around our lovely city, whilst raising money for local charities.

We are truly blessed to be included as one of the charities supported by the 2021 Potters Arf, as the impact of the covid-19 pandemic has disproportionately adversely impacted disadvantaged people all across our area. We’re looking forward to a great day.

Earlier this month, tributes from across the running community were paid to Don Shelley, who sadly passed away. Mr Shelley was best known for founding the Potteries Marathon in 1982, which went on to become the Potters ‘Arf in 2005. Race organisers are looking at plans to pay tribute to Mr Shelley and will release more details when they are available.

More information on the race is available via https://www.stoke.gov.uk/pottersarf

You can also follow updates on social media with #PottersArf at https://twitter.com/SotCityCouncil and at https://www.facebook.com/sotcitycouncil/

Online entry costs are:

Event Type Early bird* – first 500 (Save £2) Standard Registration

(until 12th September)

Late Registration

(until 24th September)

Half marathon £25 £27 £29
Walk £20 £22 £24
Relay £35.80 £37.80 £39.80
Junior Race £4.30 £6.30 £7.30


All UKA affiliated runners will save £2 upon providing their affiliation number on the registration form.


Race timings and locations:

Walkers start at 9am outside Marks and Spencers in Upper Market Square, Hanley.

Run/relay starts at 10.30am, with participants gathering at Huntbach Street in Hanley and starting on Potteries Way.

Junior race starts at 10.50am, outside Marks and Spencers in Upper Market Square, Hanley.


Interesting facts:

  • Runners drink 8,600 bottles of water during the event.
  • There are more than 80 volunteers helping the day (and lead up) to run smoothly.
  • The first Potters ’Arf was held in 2005 and this is the 16th race.
  • The men’s course record was set in 2018 – Matt Clowes, Cardiff AAC, 1:06:53
  • The women’s course record was set in 2015 – Michelle Ross-Cope, City Of Stoke AC, 1:14:31

Feature Image by Mick Hall.

Featured Potters 'Arf Marathon Society News


About the Author Charlene
Charlene is our Digital Marketing Specialist. With a wealth of marketing experience, she is using her expertise to help to communicate the variety of services we have here at Hanley Economic Building Society.

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