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MBNA Chester Marathon hailed as 'better than ever before'

More than £500,000 raised for charity as 4,000 runners pound city streets

Runners set off at the start of the 2016 MBNA Chester Marathon(Image: Steve Gregory Chester Photographic Society)

More than 4,000 runners, 20,000 spectators and some very inspirational local landmarks came together today (Sunday, October 2) to help make the 2016 MBNA Chester Marathon a resounding success.

Spectators dotted the route throughout Chester city centre and parts of North Wales in perfect running weather after a cold start to cheer on the runners.

Ben Fish from Blackburn Harriers AC won in a time of 2:24.05 and the first lady home was Katie Jones from Fife AC, crossing the line in 2:53.36.

The Chester Marathon, now in its seventh year and consistently voted on to the podium by the readers of Runner’s World for being a top quality event, was started with Chester’s Town Crier waving off runners from the starting line at Chester Racecourse.

The runners are expected to raise a combined total of more than £500,000 for local charities including the Babygrow Appeal, Claire House and Hope House and big national charities including main race charity St John Ambulance.

MBNA Chester Marathon 2016: Organisers promise 'fabulous' spectacle

In the accompanying MBNA Chester Metric Marathon, Darren Rowlands from Wrexham AC completed the 26.2 kilometre route to take the win in 1:34.56 with first lady Mary Western from PHRC crossing the line in 1:53.51.

Race organiser Chris Hulse said: “This year’s MBNA Chester Marathon has been better than ever before and I’d like to thank everyone involved in helping us make it such as 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.”

The top three female finishers from the 2016 MBNA Chester Marathon: winner - Katie Jones, second-placed Emma Ballantyne (left) and third-placed Rachel Jones(Image: Steve Gregory Chester Photographic Society)

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.

The start of the 'mini marathon' for youngsters which ran alongside the 2016 MBNA Chester Marathon(Image: Steve Gregory Chester Photographic Society)

“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.”

Early analysis shows that the event is also expected to have provided the local economy with a significant cash boost with more than £1,000,000 spent on local accommodation, food, shopping and visitor attractions.

Those who feel they have been inspired to take part next year will not have to wait long as applications for the 2017 marathon are already open. To enter and for more information about the race, visit www.chestermarathon.co.uk .

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