And they’re off - as the Bungay Black Dog Marathon begins

The annual Bungay Black Dog Marathon is officially under way.

Hundreds of runners are pounding the streets of the Waveney Valley today. Just short of 300 people had signed up to take part in the town's full marathon which started at 10.30am this morning and almost 500 have been training hard for the half marathon which is due to begin at 12.30pm.

With late entries and good weather, the popular event that also includes a fun run could see the total number of runners approach 1,000.

The race starts and finishes at the Maltings Meadow at Ditchingham and takes participants on a picturesque course through Bungay, Mettingham, Shipmeadow, Barsham, Beccles, Gillingham, Geldeston, Ellingham and Broome.

Bridge Street, Bungay; the Watch House corner at Beccles Road; and Bridge Road, Beccles will be closed today to ensure safety for competitors along the 13-mile course, which full marathon entrants will run twice.

Last year marathon winner Steve Prosser, of Bishop's Stortford Running Club, set a new course record of 2-44:43 to beat Carl Prewer's 2007 mark of 2-46:59, and if conditions are right that record could be challenged again.

• Check the website later today for a full report and photos of the 2011 race.