RETAIL giant Asda will give a much-needed energy boost to half marathon competitors – by donating 2,000 bananas.

The store in Basildon’s Pipps Hill retail park, off Miles Gray Road, is supporting Havens Hospices’ race by donating the fruit.

The community life champions’ team from the store has pledged the gift to the hospice’s Southend Half Marathon on Sunday, June 8.

It will mean a table will be laden with the fruit to give to runners at the end of the 13.1 mile event.

Tina Fort, the store’s community life champion, said: “It’s a cause close to our hearts, as we know friends who’ve needed the care the charity provides.”

“We are passionate as a store, and an organisation, about supporting local charities and have been supporting Havens Hospices for a number of years through fundraising events, hosting collections and giving gifts in kind.”

The store has helped raise more than £6,000 for the charity over the years, and will be hosting a collection for the cause over the weekend beginning this Saturday.

Last year, runners in the race raised £90,000 for the charity.

The chairty’s events fundraiser, Susie May said: “The halfmarathon is an extremely popular event and attracts runners of all abilities, from all over.

“We’re always amazed how much our runners raise for the charity. Without them, the care and support we provide to families throughout the journey of their loved ones’ illness just wouldn’t be possible.

“We’re really grateful to Asda for supporting this event, as giving our runners a big cheer, a medal, and a banana at the end of the race is the least we can do to say thank you.”

Entry costs £18 for affiliated runners and £20 for those nonaffiliateds.

Registration is open at events