Runners ready for the start gun

READY TO RUN: The competition was fierce during last year's Essex and Halstead Marathon and this year promises to be the same
READY TO RUN: The competition was fierce during last year's Essex and Halstead Marathon and this year promises to be the same

More than 600 runners, including one pulling a 250kg Agar cooker, are primed for the 19th Halstead and Essex Marathon on Sunday (10am).

Halstead Road Runners’ chairman Keith Thorogood and his team have this week been putting together the finishing touches in readiness for the event with 670 entrants confirmed by the Bank Holiday weekend, including four from the home club.

A runner who will be taking on the 26.2-mile course with an Aga, ex-paratrooper Pete Rigby from Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, will attract plenty of attention in his bid to raise money for the Parachute Regiment and Afghanistan Trust.

The ex-Metropolitan Police officer is no stranger to carrying household items along with him, having completed the London Marathon with a fridge and dishwasher on his back on different occasions, and television cameras will be present to cover his latest attempt.

Halstead hopes hang on quartet Dan Smith, Terry Rivers, Glyn Stone and veteran runner Andy Wilmot.

Thorogood said: “Last year we raised about £9,000 in total for charity and we are hoping to do about the same this year.

“Everything is going smoothly so far and we have got about 220 marshalls around the course to help out.”

Runners can still enter the marathon, which will again use the Halstead Leisure Centre as its start and finish point, on the day. For more information please see the club’s website http://www.halstead
roadrunners.net

For senior membership enquiries to Halstead Road Runners, call club captain Wayne Kern on 07801 722794, and for juniors (8-15 year olds) call Peri Collins on 01787 223150.

n Halstead Road Runner and marathon guru Wilmot completed the Heritage Coastal Marathon from Saxmundham in Suffolk.

In warm conditions, Wilmot stopped the clock in four hours 25 minutes and 34 seconds.