Up to 5,000 runners will descend upon Chester this Sunday (4 October) to compete in the city’s trio of races - the MBNA Chester Marathon, Metric Marathon and one-mile fun run. There are high expectations too that Sunday’s marathon could see a record breaking performance, with Kenyan Paralympic star, Jonah Cheshum, aiming to set a new fastest time at the race.
Since its inception in 2009, Chester Marathon has established itself as one of the top events in the country, voted as the UK's number 1 marathon in 2012 and 2013. Around 3,500 people have signed up to take on the 26.2mile course, which passes through Chester city centre, loops over the border into Wales and returns for a grandstand finish at the racecourse.
Cheshum, 26, will be competing in his first ever marathon but has set his sights on Marius Ionescu’s 2014 course record of 2:21:25. The Kenyan has been in impressive form throughout the year; he ran a 69:20 to take first place at the Torbay Half Marathon and 29:18 for top position at June’s Bristol 10K.
Last year, the 26.2 mile event added a further string to its bow with the introduction of the Metric Marathon: after positive feedback from the inaugural race, organisers increased entries to 1,100, which have all been snapped up.
Chris Hulse from race organisers Active Leisure Events. “We’re almost set for what promises to be another fantastic collection of races in 2015. More than 5,000 people have signed up to take on one of our races this Sunday so we’re expecting the city to be packed to the rafters with supporters and spectators to create the kind of electric atmosphere that Chester has become famous for.
“These events also help raise a significant amount of money for local and national charities and we’re sure to have plenty of inspirational fundraisers with us again. We hope that people will find the time to come and cheer the runners on this weekend and give them that extra bit of encouragement to get to the finish line.”