The Essar Four Villages Half Marathon is set to make a welcome return this weekend after heavy snow forced organisers to cancel it for the first time last year.

Race organisers are confident the 32nd ‘Helsby half’ will go ahead on Sunday.

Steve Riley, one of the organisers from Helsby Running Club, said: “It is all coming together nicely. We are a small handful of volunteers but, after over 30 years, we know what to do.

“Our biggest worry was the weather after last year, which was the first time ever that we had to cancel.

“We have checked the forecasts and it is looking much better but we’ve got a gritter from Cheshire West and Chester Council on standby just in case.”

Organisers and volunteers battled the elements to clear the route last year so runners could pound the roads as usual, but the decision to cancel the race was made just 24 hours before the starting gun was due to be fired over fears for the safety of the competitors.

In spite of the cancellation, Helsby Running Club donated 20,000 to Halton Haven Hospice in Runcorn and the Hospice of the Good Shepherd in Chester, with many runners donating their entry fees instead of asking for a refund.

About 1,800 runners, aged between 18 and 75 plus, are expected to take part in the 13.1 mile scenic road race, which winds through the villages of Helsby, Manley, Mouldsworth and Dunham on the Hill.

If you are taking part in the Essar Four Villages Half Marathon, send us a photograph and tell us a bit about your challenge.