The MBNA Chester Marathon consolidated its position as one of the top events in the country with almost 5,000 runners taking part in 26.2 mile race and accompanying Metric Marathon on Sunday (4 October). In crisp and bright spring conditions, Preston Harriers’ David Rigby took first place in 2:24:47, with Samantha Amend leading the female field home.
Since its inception in 2009, the race has received considerable praise and was voted as the UK's number 1 marathon in 2012 and 2013. The marathon saw runners depart from Chester city centre, move south of the Dea towards Farndon and Holt, loop over the border into Wales before returning for a grandstand finish at the racecourse.
Kenyan Jonah Cheshum had been primed as the pre-race favourite yet it was Preston Harriers’ Rigby who crossed the line first. The 28-year-old, winner of last month’s Garstang Half Marathon, finished more than two minutes ahead of second placed Daniel Chan (2:26:57), with podium regular Ben Fish in third (2:27:47).
In the women’s competition, Belgrave Harriers’ Amend led from the outset to record a winning time of 2:49:07, with Carla Molinaro second (2:51:49) and Hannah Jarvis in third (2:54:27).
Sunday also saw the second staging of the Metric Marathon: the race, which takes place over 26.2k, received considerable interest and saw its entries double to 1,100 to keep up with demand. The event saw Matt Adcock take first position in 1:30:38, with Es Burford top in the female field 1:49:01.
Joint race organiser, Andy Hulse, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to bits with today, it’s been amazing. We’ve had people from all over the world competing in the race. Our focus is on the quality of experience for our runners and we hope we can bring even more runners back next year. It’s an immense operation, I would like to thank all the staff and the 700 volunteers for making this such a great event.”