Elvis joins thousands of runners in Norwich Half Marathon

Solicitors, firefighters, paramedics and even Elvis Presley were among the thousands of people who took part in the rescheduled Norwich Half Marathon this weekend after Arctic weather forced the original race to be postponed.

There was however no threat of the weather playing havoc with the 2010 Larking Gowen-sponsored race for a second time, with parts of the 13.1 mile course, which started and finished at the showground in Costessey, bathed in glorious sunshine yesterday.

A total of 3,250 places were snapped up for the sold-out race, which this year has Macmillan Cancer Support as its official charity.

But as well as raising money for Macmillan, participants helped provide a financial boost to hundreds of other charities across Norwich, Norfolk and beyond by taking part in the event in aid of their own good causes.

And while the elite athletes battled it out at the front of the field the rest of the chasing pack were made up of a variety of competent club runners wanting to set personal best times, to half marathon debutantes and fun runners dressed in a variety of weird and wonderful outfits – even Elvis Presley made an appearance.

Former Norwich City footballer Paul McVeigh was among the runners, completing the event in a gun time of 1hr 46 mins 21secs (chip 1hr 44mins 34secs).

John Jacobs, 33, a firefighter based at Sprowston Fire Station, completed the event in an impressive gun time of 1hr 27mins 31 secs (chip time 1hr 27mins 20secs). Mr Jacobs, from Thorpe Marriott, who was supported by his wife Steph and children Lucy, four, and Cody, one, said: 'I'm pleased with that. There was great support and it was a great atmosphere.'

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Peter Simpson, 48, a paramedic with the East of England Ambulance Service, who lives in Thorpe Marriott, finished the event in 2hrs 11mins 18secs (2hrs 8mins 31 secs).

He said the eight to nine mile point was a 'killer' but having got through that point could start to see the end.

He added: 'It was really well attended, really well supported and seems very, very safe.'

The event was blessed with fabulous support from thousands of family and friends of runners coming along to cheer their loved ones on, to people living in villages lining the route, like Marlingford and Easton, coming out to offer their encouragement.

Hugh McGill, race director, said the fact it was dry – for the morning at least – helped swell the numbers coming to watch.

He said: 'March is a little bit nicer than November with the snow and the ice, and the weather has been kind to us and everything has gone well.'

One of those offering his support was Dave Egerton, a train driver and father-of-one from Thorpe Marriott. He said: 'It's a great event, well attended, good crowd.'

Robert Wells, 35, a stonemason from Hellesdon, was also watching the event this year – although hopes to be competing himself later this year.

He said: 'It's a great atmosphere.'

See more pictures from the event at www.eveningnews24.co.uk

A race to savour for champion Ian Kimpton – see sport