Mansfield Harriers’ England international and twice British Masters 5k champion Mark Johnson will be back to defend his title this Sunday (9am) as the second annual Mansfield 10k road race returns to the town’s streets.
Johnson won last year’s inaugural race on his way back from injury by a commanding 35 seconds in 32.10.
Among his opposition will be Richard Robinson, who finished third in last year’s race, which raises funds for local charity Reach Learning Disability.
Women’s winner Emmie Collinge has not entered this year’s race so far, which will be a boost to the hopes of last year’s runner-up Sarah Lowery in her hope of going one better than last year’s runners-up spot.
Last year’s race was a return to road racing in Mansfield after a four-year gap, following the demise of the very popular Mansfield Half-Marathon, which had been run for more than 30 years before it was cancelled due to spiralling costs over health and safety.
It attracted 661 runners last year and as Chad went to press there had been 581 entries, so organisers expect that to top 600 again on the day as well as thousands of spectators around the course.
A new, improved race route, which consists of two 5k circuits around the historic town centre, will start and end in the Market Place.
It costs £16 for affiliated runners, and £18 for non-affiliated runners.
Online entries for the Mansfield 10K will close on Friday at noon. With entries running out, participants are encouraged to sign up ahead of the day to avoid any disappointment - visit www.mansfield10k.co.uk – though you will be able to sign up on the morning if places are still available.
BBC weather is currently suggesting light rain for Sunday, but organisers are hoping that may change nearer the day.
The closest car parks not enclosed within the inner circle, which will be closed for the event, are the three council car parks situated on Nottingham Road, Grove Street and at Water Meadows.
These are Pay and Display and cost 70p an hour to park.
There are also two privately owned car parks accessed off Nottingham Road. These are also Pay and Display but cost £2 for the day.
The event has seen a huge amount of support for its second year in Mansfield, securing sponsorship from prominent local businesses McDonalds, Slimming World and Mansfield Building Society, as well as support from Mansfield District Council.
Support has come from far and wide in the shape of volunteers to help deliver the event, including those from the Mansfield Building Society and Notts Women Runners.
The event is organised by Reach Learning Disability, and all funds raised will go towards supporting people with learning difficulties in the Nottinghamshire area to reach beyond all expectations.