THE home of theatrical fame in Southampton is backing a major running event.

Mayflower Theatre has joined forces with the ABP Southampton Half Marathon team in a brand-new partnership.

The organisations, which are both huge names in the city, have teamed up as part of a 2016 initiative to help bring people across Southampton together.

The partnership will see the ABP Southampton Half Marathon, which is also backed by the Daily Echo (???), step on board as sponsor for the theatre’s forthcoming production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

This affiliation will also mean that race organisers will be able to raise more awareness of new additions to their event next year including a family fun run and schools challenge.

As well as throwing its weight behind the show, the ABP Southampton Half Marathon is offering theatre customers are being offered discounted entry into the 2016 event.

Michael Ockwell, chief executive of Mayflower Theatre, said: “We are thrilled to be working with the ABP Southampton Half Marathon and this latest union is an example of how our corporate partnerships benefit everyone involved.

“Just like the theatre, the ABP Southampton Half Marathon brings people together and plays an important part in the community. We hope the discounted entry will encourage our customers to take on a new challenge in 2016 and sign up for the run.”

Chris Rees, race director for the ABP Southampton Half Marathon, added: “Our sponsorship of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang will allow us to promote these great new additions to the event to thousands of people. We are delighted to give something back to Mayflower Theatre and its customers by providing discounted entry for those signing up to next year’s run.”

The new additions to the ABP Southampton Half Marathon, which attracted thousands of runners earlier this year to the city centre, will include the family fun run. This run will be held alongside the half marathon and is open to all ages.

There will also be a mile-long stretch which is open to anyone aged two or over and takes place at 4pm on April 23.

The schools challenge will see children aged eight to 15 from city schools compete against one another in a separate running challenge. This run will also take place on April 23, at 3pm.

Theatre-goers who take part in the ABP Southampton Half Marathon in 2016 will also be joined by a small team of staff from the theatre who are lacing up their trainers to take on the challenge and their colleagues will form a Mayflower Theatre ‘cheering point’ along the route to provide motivation to runners.

The deal for Mayflower Theatre customers, which gives 10 per cent off entry, can be redeemed by typing the code ‘MAYFLOWER’ when signing up at www.abpsouthamptonhalf.co.uk.