THE popular Gosport Half Marathon race returns on Sunday with 2,000 runners set for action.
Traditionally the event attracts a good balance of experienced runners and newcomers to the half marathon distance who are progressing.
The race is part of the Hampshire Road Race League and the area’s clubs will be very well represented with Portsmouth Joggers leading the way with 81 entrants.
Stubbington Green Runners, have 70 lining up, while Fareham Crusaders have 58 entrants.
Hedge End, Isle of Wight Road Runners, Lordshill, Denmead Striders, Winchester and Victory also have a large number of entries.
Radio Haslar will be doing all the music this year and there will be an excellent atmosphere around the course.
Race director Kerry Irwin-Hall, of Gosport Road Runners, is looking forward to welcoming all the runners again.
She said: ‘It’s hard work to put the race on but the money all goes to charities and it is good to give something back to the community.
‘Hopefully we will get some kind weather this year.
‘We have 2,000 people entered and the race filled up very quickly as usual.
‘You get a nice spread with a lot of local runners but also runners from around the country.
‘We have a lady from Wales who did it last year and is coming back especially for the cake in the goodie bag at the end.’
‘This year we have had a few changes with Radio Haslar doing all the music now and the massages will be done by students from St Vincent College, in Gosport.
‘We always have a good team of helpers with club members and their friends and families getting involved.’
Jonathan Roberts and Ellie Monks, both of Southampton, enjoyed wins in 2016.
It was Jo Corbett, of Chichester, and Farnham’s Sarah Hill who were successful in 2015.
The race starts at 10am on Sunday and the event is hosted at Bay House School, 18 Gomer Lane, Gosport.
Numbers can be picked up on Saturday at Absolute Running, Stoke Rd, Gosport, (9.30am to 12.30pm) or from race headquarters on Sunday morning from 8am to 9.45am.