Thirty six years in and the Essar Chester Half Marathon shows no sign of slowing down with up to 7,000 runners expected to compete in Sunday’s (21 May) race. As ever, the route, which begins at Chester Racecourse, is likely to throw up an array of fast times across the board (the current record stands at a speedy 1:02:51) with many targeting the event as a PB venue.
Over the past six years, the race has grown in popularity, with organisers Active Leisure Events seeing the size of the field almost triple in size since taking over in 2012. This has coincided too with some positive feedback from runners – the event named as one of the UK’s 50 Best Races – with Chester being recognised for the quality of its route, the variety of scenery and its excellent support.
2016 saw some strong performances at the front with Mark Kibiwott Kangogo of Run-Fast winning in 1:03:58, ahead of clubmate Jonah Chesum in 1:05:50. Altrincham & District’s Mohammed Abu-Rezeq, second in 2015 and winner in 2014, took third (1:06:16).
In the women’s competition, Wakefield District Harriers & AC secured top spot in 1:17:21, followed by Rachel Doherty of Higham Harriers (1:18:07) and Joasia Zakrzewski of Durham City Harriers & AC (1:20:52).
Sunday’s field can expect some favourable conditions for running with a light breeze and temperatures of around 10-12°C predicted. Look out for our race report early next week.