Norfolk Showground set for 3,000 runners taking part in Larking Gowen City of Norwich Half Marathon

Runners in the 2012 Larking Gowen City of Norwich Half Marathon at the showground. Picture: Simon Fi

Runners in the 2012 Larking Gowen City of Norwich Half Marathon at the showground. Picture: Simon Finlay. - Credit: Simon Finlay

The challenge of running 13.1 miles will be taken up by 3,000 runners at the city's Norfolk Showground tomorrow.

The Larking Gowen City of Norwich Half Marathon returns and is expected to attract hundreds of supporters and well-wishers to the showground for the popular event.

Weather conditions look set to be settled this year, with the event's late November date having made for difficult running conditions in the past and even had to be cancelled in 2010 because of a wintry blast.

But Phil Garner, forecaster at University of East Anglia based Weatherquest, said runners should have no weather worries this time and temperatures should be between 5C and 8C.

'It's looking a bit cloudy and you can't discount the chance of a very isolated shower but the odds are that it will stay dry and it should be good running conditions,' he said.

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'It's going to be fairly settled generally and there should be a north to north-easterly wind of about 10 or 12mph, so it shouldn't cause any problems.'

Ensuring the half marathon runs smoothly will be 225 volunteers, made up from Macmillan Cancer Support, the City of Norwich Athletics Club (CONAC) and Norwich accountancy firm Larking Gowen, which sponsors the race.

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The winner of last year's race, CONAC's Nick Earl, is in Australia so will not be back to try and better his winning time of 01:13:34. But the top woman from last year, Daisy Glover of Ely Runners, returns to try and improve on her winning team of 01:20:13.

At the showground yesterday were 60 Macmillan volunteers busily stuffing souvenir bags which will be handed to runners at the finish line, as organisers looked forward to the race getting under way at 11am tomorrow.

'We normally come up here and it's pouring with rain, so we don't know what to do with ourselves,' joked race director Hugh McGill, from CONAC.

'We had to cancel in 2010 because of the snow and then there were gale-force winds in 2011 and 2012 so it's great that the weather is looking settled.

'Obviously we've been waiting for this for a long time after we sold out of places six weeks before the race, which just shows the race is growing in popularity. We've got 3,000 runners and that is the limit we can host on the course.

'A lot of work has gone into the course this week, every house on the route has received a letter with all the details about the race and road closures, and all the signs are out on the route, so hopefully the local people will come out and support the runners.'

Special photo supplement

Be sure to see Monday's EDP for a four-page special photo supplement to commemorate this year's City of Norwich Half Marathon.

All the hard work, smiles, sweat and tears of the 3,000 runners taking on the challenge at the Norfolk Showground will be published alongside the top results, with the full results available at and

If you are snapped by our photographers you can buy the photos as well, by calling 01603 772449 or by following this link.

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