The Pride Of Cheshire
Chester Marathon stages a triumphant return...
Over 3,000 runners took to the roads in and around Chester at the weekend signalling that the MBNA Chester Marathon - now in its 11th year - is well and truly back in business.
Joint race organiser Chris Hulse told runABC North: “We have worked hard to overcome all the difficulties that have been thrown at us during 2021 to make this the kind of special race experience that people associate with us.
“Many of the runners were returning to competition after a long break and welcomed the subtle changes and measures we had in place to keep them safe. It felt so good to see our fellow runners back in marathon action again here in Chester.”
First placed runner was local man Michael Young of West Cheshire AC who finished the race in just 2:27:32 followed by Joseph Turner of Cambridge & Coleridge AC (2:28:47) and Tomos Roberts of Meirionydd RC (2:33:45). Speaking after the race Michael said: “An amazing course. The whole event was brilliantly run and the marshals and volunteers fabulous. I would highly recommend it!”
First female, Melissah Gibson of Ealing Eagles RC, crossed the line in 2:48:44 followed by local lady Keeley Smith of West Cheshire AC (2:58:29) and Alison Taylor in 2:59:19.
In the accompanying MBNA Chester Metric Marathon, Dean Howlett of Kirkby Millers AC completed the 26.2K route to take the win in 1:36:19 followed by Jonathan Kettle of NWRR (1:36:50) and Tom Dunlop of Derwent AC (1:37:27). First lady Elizabeth Renondeau of Cheshire Dragons crossed the line in 1:42:13 followed by local lady Lucy Tilston from Chester Road Runners (1:52:33) and Paiwan Dodd (1:56:48).
Full results can be found via runABC North's race listing page.
Runners are expected to raise a combined total of more than £600,000 for local and national charities. This includes the main race charity, Northern Lights Children’s Charity, who were on hand during the day to help over 500 children and adults run the ever-popular 1 mile MBNA Chester Family Mini Marathon around the Racecourse.
And it's not just charities who will have seen a cash injection from the race's return, early analysis shows that the event is also expected to have provided the local economy with a significant cash boost with over £1,000,000 spent on local accommodation, food, shopping, and visitor attractions.
Race director Andy White said: “I’d like to thank everyone involved in helping us make the event such a success, from the runners and the spectators to the sponsors and the rest of the organising team. Chester can be proud to host what is regarded by many as the best marathon in the UK.”
Those who have been inspired to take part next year will not have long to wait. Entries for next 2022's full and metric marathon events, which will take place on 2 October 2022, are already open.
Image: Active Leisure Events