The Essar Chester Half Marathon celebrated its 35th year in resounding style with nearly 6,000 runners competing in Sunday’s (15 May) race. With such an impressive turnout, it seems that the event will once again prove to be a massive boost for the local community and charities, with organisers hopeful that the total amount raised could exceed £500,000.
With the sun splitting the skies for the majority of the day, runners and spectators alike enjoyed the modified course in all its splendour, even if it made race conditions more testing. In addition to the 13.1 mile event, a record turnout of 600 children charged round Chester Racecourse in the 1 mile fun run.
Leading the field home was Mark Kibiwott Kangogo of Run-Fast in 1:03:58 – about a minute and a half slower than last year’s winning time – with club mate Jonah Chesum second in 1:05:50. Altrincham & District’s Mohammed Abu-Rezeq, second last year and winner in 2014, took third in (1:06:16).
In the women’s competition, Wakefield District Harriers & AC secured top billing 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).
Race director Andy White of Active Leisure commented on the day’s proceedings: “From start to finish this has been a race to remember. We are absolutely delighted with the number of athletes, volunteers and supporters who have all played their part in making it such a remarkable day.”
“There were some truly excellent performances and the feedback that we have received tells us that the improvements we have made to the course have been a big hit with participants who were impressed with everything the race had to offer. That kind of feedback makes it all worthwhile and tells us that all the hard work from everyone involved has really paid off.”