A NEW running event is set to bring a boost to the county town.

The inaugural Dorchester Marathon is set to take place on Sunday, May 28, with charities and the local economy set to benefit.

Organised by Dorchester Casterbridge Rotary and White Star Running, the event will raise money for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance and other local causes.

With around 1,000 runners already signed up and 1,800 expected to take part, the event will be an opportunity for people to take on either a full marathon or half marathon route through the countryside around the county town.

Event chairman John Adams said that the event is one of "Dorchester's biggest ever sporting events" and should boost the whole local community.

He said: "In addition to providing sporting opportunities, the event is supported by our town, district and county councils, together with the business community, as it will bring large numbers of competitors and their families to west Dorset for the weekend and also showcases the area as a wonderful location for future holidays.

"Of particular note will be the sense of community the event will foster, bringing together local volunteers and businesses to proudly create a very special event.

"We are also encouraging villages along the route to create their own events and celebrations of which the marathon can be central feature.

The involvement of local volunteers working alongside professionals is a particular feature of our marathon, ensuring local knowledge is well used to guide runners and motorist around the area at race times and throughout the weekend.

"This is a special event organised by the community, for the community of Dorchester and beyond."

Mayor of Dorchester Tim Harries said that it was great to see the town host such a major sporting occasion.

He said: "It's another sign of Dorchester being a vibrant town and full of life.

"Hopefully people will come here and enjoy themselves and see it's a good place to visit."

For more information about the event visit dorchestermarathon.co.uk