Record turnout for MBNA Chester Marathon
5,000 runners, 20,000 spectators and some impressive racing performances this weekend proved that the 2018 MBNA Chester Marathon continues to live up to its award-winning reputation.
With the event now in its ninth year, spectators dotted the route throughout Chester city centre and parts of North Wales in perfect running weather after a chilly start on Sunday (7 October) to cheer on the runners, including the first place winner Mohammed Abu-Rezeq of Altrincham & District AC who finished the race in just 2:25:20 and the first lady Johanna O’Regan of St Neots Riverside Runners who crossed the line in 2:45:33.
The MBNA Chester Marathon, consistently voted onto the podium by the readers of Runner’s World for being a top quality event, was started by Chester’s Town Crier waving off runners from the starting line at Chester Racecourse. As well as the first placed runners, others who achieved their goals included Darrin Percy of Ellesmere Port RC, who finished his 100th marathon wearing the number 100 on this vest. The runners are expected to raise a combined total of more than £600,000 for local and national charities including the main race charity Claire House Children’s Hospice.
In the accompanying MBNA Chester Metric Marathon, Charlie Hulson of Liverpool Harriers & AC completed the 26.2 kilometre route to take the win in 1:26:59 (a new course record) with first lady Karen Alexander crossing the line in 1:45:48.
The family Mini Marathon held on the Racecourse itself was once again very popular. The field of 1000 fun runners included 110 children and adults from Dee Point Primary School in Blacon. More used to cheering on the runners at their own cheer station, this time they were the ones being applauded as they crossed the finish line.
Race organiser Chris Hulse said: “I’d like to thank everyone involved in helping us make the event such a success, from the runners and the spectators to the sponsors and the rest of the organising team.
“Chester can be proud to host what is regarded by many as the best marathon in the UK and this year we have been delighted to have been chosen yet again to host the England Athletics Age Group Marathon Championships.”
In addition to runners and spectators, more than 700 volunteers, including many from race title sponsor MBNA, were on hand to support this year’s runners, at drinks stations and along the route at various points across the 26.2 mile course, as well as handing out medals, souvenir shirts and goody bags at the finish.
“Our volunteers this year were also absolutely fantastic so a big thanks to all enthusiastic groups, individuals, MBNA and everyone else who gave their time and energy to help make the MBNA Chester Marathon such an overwhelming success,” added Chris.
“We would also like to offer our congratulations to Chrissy Bishop and Gareth Yeomans from Walsall on their engagement – Gareth popped the question on the marathon finish line!”
Early analysis shows that the event is also expected to have provided the local economy with a significant cash boost with over £1,000,000 spent on local accommodation, food, shopping and visitor attractions.
Paul Sinclair from MBNA:“The friendly and personal approach of the organisers means every runner from first to last is treated with equal importance. We are proud to have been associated with the Marathon since day one and congratulate everyone who trained so hard to get to the start line this year, congratulations.”
Those who have been inspired to take part next year will not have to wait long as applications for the 2019 marathon are already open. To enter and for more information about the race, visit www.chestermarathon.co.uk.
The ALDI Chester 10K on 10 March 2019 is also open for entries. This race sold out very quickly this year. See http://www.activeleisureevents.co.uk/chester-10k for more information and to enter the race.
The Essar Chester Half Marathon on 19 May 2019 is also already open for entries and places are filling up fast. See www.chesterhalfmarathon.co.uk . for more information and to enter the race.