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Stafford marathon a record sell out this year

All 4,000 places for next year’s Stafford Half Marathon have been taken up in record time. Entries for the organised race opened on 1 November and the final place has now been sold. A record number will now be taking on the course on 19th March next year - up from the 3,500 places for the 2016 event. Councillor Mike Smith, Cabinet Member for Leisure and former Half Marathon competitor himself, said:

“We increased the attendance again for 2017 and again the response has been incredible. Stafford Half Marathon is rightly seen as one of the top races in the county’s sporting calendar and it just keeps on getting bigger and better. All the best to everyone who has a place for next year - I hope your training goes well over the next few months.”

– Councillor Mike Smith.


3,000 take on wet Leicester marathon

Two runners with a dinghy complete the course in the wet Credit: ITV News Central

More than 3,000 people have taken on the wet conditions and taken part in the Leicester marathon event today. Many completed the full 26mile distance, and others ran the half-distance also scheduled for the day.

A group carrying a stretcher run up the final stretch Credit: ITV News Central

Despite the wet conditions, hundreds also lined the course to cheer on the runners to the finish line.

The rain fails to dampen the spirits of onlookers Credit: ITV News Central

Hundreds to take part in Leicester Marathon

Claire Lomas opened the Leicester Marathon last year Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Around 1,600 runners are expected to take part in the Leicester Marathon today.

The races will start today in the city's Victoria Park.

Road closures in place during the marathon can be viewed here.

The route of the marathon can be seen here.

The Leicester Marathon raises money for LOROS, the Leicestershire and Rutland Hospice. It aims to improve the quality of life of people with cancer, neurological conditions and organ failure, who can no longer receive medical treatment.


Thousands of runners gearing up for Leicester Marathon

Thousands of runners are expected to pound the streets of Leicester Credit: ITV Central News

Leicester is gearing up for the city's annual marathon.

Thousands of runners are expected to take to the streets on Sunday and Claire Lomas from Leicestershire will officially start the race. Paralysed from the chest down, she completed the London marathon this year with the help of a robotic suit.

Claire Lomas crossing the line in London Credit: PA

A series of road closures will be in place to allow for the races to take place.

There will be disruption to bus services which will be diverted to avoid the marathon route from start of service until approximately 3pm.

We will bring you a full run-down of the road closures later.

Paula Radcliffe: I've cried more tears than ever

In a statement today, former Loughborough athlete Paula Radcliffe has expressed her profound disappointment at not being able to take part in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

"It is hard to know that had the Olympics been six weeks earlier I could have gone out there and run confidently knowing that I was in the best shape I had been in for a while, but I am by no means the first to experience something like this.

"No-one tells us in advance where the limits of our own bodies lie, and pushing these limits is the only way we can ever achieve our highest goals and dreams.

"However hard today is, finally closing the door on that dream, at least I can know that I truly have tried absolutely everything.

"As desperate as I was to be part of the amazing experience of the London Olympics, I don't want to be there below my best. If I can't be there and give it my best, then I would rather someone else who can do that is able to be there.

"I have been through the mill emotionally and physically the past three weeks, cried more tears than ever, vented more frustration and at the same time calmly tried every direction and avenue available to heal myself.

"Now is the time to rest totally, give my body chance to recover and assess calmly what can be done and where I go from here."

– Paula Radcliffe
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