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Runners lacing up for Helsby Half Marathon

More than 2,000 entrants have signed up for the annual 13.1-mile race

Helsby Half Marathon 2016(Image: Duncan Cowley)

The Essar Four Villages Half Marathon returns for runners braving the winter cold next weekend.

Organisers Helsby Running Club are hoping for a special day and some impressive times on January 15.

Places are still available if you fancy a challenge to start your 2017.

More than 1,700 competitors took part in the event last year which helped to banish the memories of when freezing conditions caused the race to be cancelled in 2015.

Another big turnout is expected as there have already been 2,000 entrants this time round. There will be plenty of vantage points for spectators too.

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Its scheduling early in the year has proved popular as runners use it to help with their preparations for other marathons and events later in the year.

The course weaves through its eponymous four villages; Helsby, Dunham-on-the-Hill, Manley and Alvanley.

Helsby Half Marathon 2016(Image: Duncan Cowley)

The starting gun will be fired at Helsby Community Sports Club at 10.30am and athletes will pound the 13.1-mile route, which has been ever so slightly tweaked, to the finish line at Horn’s Mill Primary School.

Reigning men’s champion Michael Kallenberg is back for more. The Royal Air Force Athletics and Cardiff AAC runner crossed the line first 12 months ago in an impressive time of 1:07:03.

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Gemma Connolly was first home for the St Helens Sutton club in the women’s race in 1:22:45.

As ever Helsby Running Club will be fielding a strong contingent in their home run.

Road closures will be in place throughout the course including on the A56, B5132 and B5393 as runners make their way round.

Full information about the event and how to enter can be found at www.helsbyrunningclub.org.uk/halfmarathon/.

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