On your marks for the 2014 Berkhamsted Half Marathon and Fun Run

Action from the 2013 Berkhamsted Half Marathon
Action from the 2013 Berkhamsted Half Marathon

The Berkhamsted Half Marathon and Fun Run are nearly here - race day is this Sunday and it’s still not too late to get yourself onto the start line.

The race is rapidly filling up and online entries are now closed, but you can still enter in person for both races on Saturday at Victoria School in Berkhamsted between 9am and 1pm, and on race day between 8am and 9.30am at the race start.

Action from the 2013 Berko Half Marathon

Action from the 2013 Berko Half Marathon

A word of warning from the organisers, the Rotary Club of Berkhamsted-Bulbourne – don’t leave it until Sunday morning as it was manic last year!

Special guest Paul Dickenson, the BBC athletics and Olympics commentator, will be on hand this year to start both races and award the prizes to the top finishers.

Dickenson, president of Dacorum & Tring AC, is a British Olympian and former British and Commonwealth record holder in the hammer throw.

He’ll be very familiar to those who watched the Winter Olympics from Sochi – he commentated on Lizzie Yarnold’s gold medal skeleton run as well as all the luge and bosleigh events.

Rotary Club logo

Rotary Club logo

The Half Marathon looks like it will be even more hotly-contested then ever this year.

Ed Banks – men’s winner over the past three years – will be back to defend his title, but will be challenged every step of the way by other top club runners, such as Andrew Cracknell of Dacorum & Tring AC.

On the women’s side, 2011 and 2013 winner and course record holder Kate Rennie will be running the fun run with her eight-year old son William this year but others, such as Claire Kremer of St Albans Striders, will step up to battle for top spot.

Both Matthew Salt and Catherine Davies from Dacorum & Tring AC Road Runners will be looking to defend the fun run titles they won in 2013.

Runners from 80 running clubs around the country will be vying for the clubs’ trophy.

St Albans Striders, with 53 runners registered so far, stand an excellent chance of taking the prize, while Gade Valley Harriers and Tring Running Club are each fielding more than 30 runners.

Dacorum & Tring AC Road Runners, Harpenden Arrows, Ware Joggers, Watford Harriers and Chiltern Harriers are other clubs with a number of strong runners also looking to finish well up the field.

Berkhamsted’s Ashlyns School, meanwhile, has made its intentions clear with a strong team of 12 runners taking on the inaugural Schools Challenge, which will award a £250 prize each to the top boys’ and girls’ teams from competing secondary schools.

The half marathon starts at 10am from Berkhamsted Cricket Club and the Fun Run kicks off half an hour later.

For more race day details, as well as information on charities supported, sponsors, past results, route maps and more, visit www.berkhamstedhalfmarathon.co.uk