THE Colchester Half Marathon is officially the fastest growing race in the UK.

Organisers of the race, now in its fourth year, were given the news by governing body, UK Athletics.

Matt Eaton, who organises the race which takes place on March 16, said the body had even given permission for the event to increase the number of runners to 4,000.

But Mr Eaton declined the chance, saying he wants the event to grow at a manageable rate. This year is the second year it has had 2,500 runners.

He said: “We’ve been told the event is the fastest growing in the UK in terms of numbers, which is great news of course.

“But we’ve decided to take the Ferrari approach and limit the amount of places.

“We’re looking at quality over quantity.”

He added: “It’s incredibly popular - I’ve checked my emails and I’ve been sent 987 since the closing date asking for places in the Colchester Half Marathon.”

The race is organised by the Colchester Colne Round Table and raises money for St Helen Hospice, based in Highwoods, Colchester.