ATHLETICS: A RECORD-BREAKING 2,500 runners will set off on a 13-mile journey on Sunday at the start of the Chester Half Marathon.
Months of training has finished for the competitors, who will assemble at the Little Roodee car park at 9.15am before the Lord Mayor of Chester, Barry Cowper, sends them on their way from the official start at the Old Dee Bridge at 9.30am.
Race director Ian Cook, of West Cheshire Athletics Club, said: 'A lot of people have worked very hard and the preparations are well advanced.
'We always look to improve the race year on year and, hopefully, we will achieve that.'
The throng of runners will snake through the villages of Eaton, Eccleston and Pulford before crossing the finish line on The Roodee.
Everyone who takes part will receive a bottle of water and a goody bag prepared by the race's sponsor, Shell, and its official charity, Save the Family.
A mix of fun-runners and club athletes are expected to turn out on the day.
There has been speculation that a Russian competitor, on a tour of the country, was to try to break the course record set last year by winner Lisa Heyes, of Salford Harriers, but this has not been confirmed.
About 500 children and adults will race in the one-mile fun-run before the main event.
Motorists are urged to be patient and adhere to the traffic management strategy put in place by Cheshire County Council.
'They will be inconvenienced for only a short while and, after all, it's all for a good cause,' said Cook, who said he was grateful for the help received from a number of organisations.
Scouts from Chester and Mickle Trafford and Pulford Parish Council will man the water stations.
Members of the Chester ATC will direct traffic on to the car park and police will manage the hundreds of cars leaving it after the event.
St John Ambulance personnel and paramedics will be on standby and Dee Valley Water will provide a bowser to rehydrate the runners.