5,000 runners expected for city’s annual marathon weekend

  • Multi award-winning MBNA Chester Marathon takes place this Sunday 4 October
  • Kenyan Paralympic star aiming to smash course record of 2:21:25
  • Record-breaking Rugby Union referee arriving from South Africa to take part


Almost 5,000 runners and thousands more spectators will descend on Chester this weekend as a trio of popular city races return for 2015.


The multi award-winning MBNA Chester Marathon gets things underway from Chester Racecourse at 9:00am on Sunday 4 October. 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.


This year’s race includes a Kenyan Paralympic star that competed in the 2012 London Paralympic Games. Jonah Cheshum, 26, will be competing in his first ever marathon but is aiming to beat the course record set just last year of 2:21:25.


Runners from all over the world are flying into the UK for the race, including South African Rugby Union referee Jonathan Kaplan who holds the record for officiating the most international rugby matches. Other countries to be represented include France, China, Russia and Canada.


At 10:20am on Sunday morning, the starting gun will fire for the sold-out MBNA Metric Marathon – a 26.2km race that’s attracted more than 1,100 runners in only its second year since inception. And at 10:30am, the MBNA Mini Marathon – a one-mile fun run for children and families – starts at Chester Racecourse with a capacity field of 350 people signed up to take part.


“We’re almost set for what promises to be another fantastic collection of races in 2015”, said Chris Hulse from race organisers Active Leisure Events.


“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.”


Fundraisers taking part in the three events are expected to raise more than £700,000 for a variety of local and national charities. This year’s race charity partner is the Countess of Chester Hospital’s Babygrow Appeal, which is hoping to raise more than £3m to build a new Neonatal Unit.


Details of the routes, including important race times and a range of useful race day information for runners is available to view at http://www.activeleisureevents.co.uk/marathon/race-information


For more information on traffic and local road closures, visit http://www.activeleisureevents.co.uk/marathon/residents-information