Over 2,000 runners expected as City of Norwich Half Marathon returns to Norfolk Showground
- Credit: SIMON FINLAY
Runners return to the Norfolk Showground this weekend as the City of Norwich Half Marathon resumes after a fallow year.
The race wasn't held last year as organisers opted to move the event to a new slot in the calendar, after more than 2,300 athletes had braved low temperatures and icy surfaces in November 2015.
The 32nd edition of the race – again sponsored principally by Norwich chartered accountants Larking Gowen – is set to enjoy far finer temperatures when over 2,000 competitors descend on Easton on Sunday though, with the one-lap course being used for the second time.
'We pushed it forward out of winter and in to spring so it's been about 17 months since the last one and we're looking forward to it,' race director Hugh McGill said.
'We're keeping our fingers crossed for the weather, it's been pretty good the last month or so, all the races in the local calendar have been enjoying good weather so we're hoping for likewise. We'll be happy if it's dry, bright and fine.'
This year's date clashes with the Brighton Marathon but suits runners tapering for the London Marathon on April 23.
Former Norwich City player Paul McVeigh is among the notable names taking part but Adrian Mussett and Helen Davies will not be back to retain their titles.
Mussett, of Colchester Harriers, finished the 13.1 miles in one hour, nine minutes and 46 seconds in 2015 – to win the race for the fifth time. Davies, of Ipswich Jaffa, who represented England in the marathon in the Commonwealth Games in India in 2010 using her maiden name, Decker, finished in 1:19.14.
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'One of the challenges with moving to the spring was finding a date that doesn't clash with other events. There's been Easter, Mother's Day and the London Marathon to consider, and finding space where local clubs don't have anything planned.
'Ideally we wouldn't have it in the Easter holidays and that may have accounted for some people.'
The route goes through Easton and Colton before heading towards Honingham and looping back round towards Barnham Broom and then through Marlingford to return to the showground. The race begins at 10.30am, on Sunday with plenty of parking available spectators.