ORGANISERS of this year’s Griffin Chapman Colchester Half Marathon have appealed for marshals to help the event run as smoothly as possible.

Dubbed ‘race makers’, organisers the Colchester Colne Round Table say the event cannot happen without more than 200 of them.

This year’s sold out 13.1-mile race takes place on Sunday March 24 from 9am at the Jobserve Community Stadium in Colchester.

As many as 4,000 runners could take part.

Race director Dan Aldworth said: “We cannot stress how vital it is that we have safety in numbers by providing as many marshals on each junction as possible.

“The time commitment can be varied depending on where you are required on the course but the marshal briefing will be held at 8am to allow enough time for everyone to get into position before the roads close.

“Full instructions will be given at this briefing and each section will have a section leader you can contact if you have any problems or queries.”

The first half of the course leads runners through the town centre which is subject to road closures for certain time periods.

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A large number of helpers are needed at each road junction to support Colchester Council and keep motorists advised with what is happening and how long that particular section will be closed for.

The second section of the course, through country lanes in Langham and Boxted, does not have any such road closures as they are smaller roads.

But they are still regularly used by vehicles and so as many helpers are needed as possible to ensure the runners know where they are going and that they remain safe.

Race makers needed to be aged 18 or over.

It is the ninth year of the event which this year is in aid of the charities MS-UK and Headway Essex.

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Thousands of pounds has been raised for good causes in the event’s history.

The race is always a huge hit with spectators, particularly lining North Hill, High Street and Ipswich Road.

Other volunteers include the army of pacers who help people achieve times they want and those who aid visually impaired runners.

Last year, the capacity for runners entering was upped by 250 due to the event’s increasing popularity.

Entrants are welcome to raise money for their own chosen charities - the race entry fee is donated to MS-UK and Headway Essex.

Race results will be published online on race day.

Prizes are awarded to fastest finishers overall and in age categories.

Full coverage and dozens of pictures will be published online and in the Daily Gazette following the event.

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