All you need to know about the Colchester Half Marathon this weekend - including road closures
PUBLISHED: 15:47 11 March 2016 | UPDATED: 15:51 11 March 2016
Bumper crowds are expected to line the streets of Colchester on Sunday for the town’s annual half marathon.
The biggest race so far will see 4,000 runners pounding the streets of the 13.1 mile circuit, which sets off from the Weston Homes Community Stadium at 9am.
The capacity of this year’s event was raised by 750 places, but it still sold out in record time.
Organiser Luke Wastell believes up to 10,000 people could take part if the event was organised on such a scale.
He said: “We hope people come out to support the runners, just as the charities have really got behind us. It is going to be a good day.
“We have such a diverse group of runners taking part this year. It is a popular route with some hills and flat, some town and countryside.
“We know hotels are full up Saturday and Sunday, restaurants are busy, which tells me we have a lot of people coming to our town.
“And that is good for Colchester.”
Estimated road closure times
Boxted Road/Nayland Road – 8.55am to 9.12am
Mile End Road/North Station Roundabout – 9.01am to 9.23am
North Station Road – 9.01 to 9.36am
North Hill – 9.10am to 9.37am
High Street (to Queen Street) – 9.10am to 9.42am
High Street/East Hill – 9.12am to 9.50am
Ipswich Road – 9.18am to 10.17am
Severalls Lane – 9.25am to 10.21am
Wyncolls Road/Newcomen Way – 9.26am to 10.24am
Severalls Lane/Langham Lane – 9.30am to 10.41am
Volunteers from local running clubs will act as pacers for the first time this year.
The Robin Cancer Trust and the Tom Bowdidge Foundation are the two chosen charities for the event, sponsored by Griffin Chapman, while many runners will also be raising sponsorship for their own chosen charities.
Mr Wastell added: “I am quietly confident it will be our biggest ever cheques this year for them.
“A lot of people are doing this for some very good causes, not just ours, and the amount of money this event raises collectively, though we have never quantified it, must run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.”
Photographer Gavin King will be at the start hoping to complete his 1,000 Faces of Colchester to unlock a £1,000 donation for the Tom Bowdidge Foundation.
Rolling road closures will be in place for the town part of the route.
Who is running – case studies
Sonia Mirrington was forced to defer her entry last year after a debilitating and excruciating flare-up of Crohn’s Disease saw her drop to under seven stone and facing surgery to remove and resect 2ft of her bowel.
But in November she was given the all clear to resume her exercise regime and take part in the half marathon for the first time.
The 36-year-old police officer from Colchester said: “I’m now fully back on my feet and will be running this to raise awareness of the impact irritable bowel disease can have.”
Sonia is raising money for Crohn’s & Colitis UK. To support her, visit www.justgiving.com/Sonia-Mirrington1.
Legal secretary Karen Skene from Capel St Mary is running in aid of a charity which helped when her grandson was in intensive care.
Karen, 49, of Kerseys Solicitors, will use the event as training before she takes on the Manchester Marathon next month for the Sick Children’s Trust, which provides free accommodation to families with children in hospital.
It comes after her daughter gave birth in May 2014 to to Noah, who suffered with Posterior Urethral Vales – a condition, only found in boys, which may lead to kidney damage because of a blockage in the urethra.
The mum-of-two, who is a member of Great Bentley Running Club, said: “It was a worrying time, but the accommodation was fantastic. It eased other worries, such as having to commute.
“My main aim in raising money for SCT is to raise awareness, as they are a relatively small charity.”
To sponsor Karen, visit mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/karenskene1
Multiple sclerosis sufferer Lewis Miller, from Coggeshall, is running in aid of the MS-UK charity supporting people with the condition which is based in Colchester.
Lewis, 41, took up running shortly before his diagnosis and has kept it up where possible, completing several marathons, halves, and 10ks.
He said: “The odds are stacked against me. Not only do I have MS, which makes me quite fatigued and gives me numbness in my legs and hands, which doesn’t help with balance, I also have had asthma from birth.
“I really hope I can enjoy my runs and make a difference for others with MS, because I don’t know how MS will affect me and if I’ll be able to run in the years to come.”
To sponsor Lewis visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/LewisMiller.
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