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AS RUNNERS pound the pavements in London for this year's Virgin marathon today, the Standard takes a look back at Harwich's own running past.

Organisers were overwhelmed when the entries began flooding in for the first-ever half marathon in Harwich.

The event, in 1982, had been the brainchild of David Chilvers, of the Round Table and the then manager of Harwich Sports Hall.

They anticipated about 500 people would sign up for the fundraising 13-mile event, which took runners along Marine Parade, Low Road, Ainger Road, Main Road, up to Harwich Quay, Harbour Crescent and Barrack Lane before finishing back at Marine Parade.

So it was a shock when 1,000 people stood ready to take part on April 4.

Looking back, Mr Chilvers said: “It caught everybody’s imagination here and everybody knew someone that was taking part.

“It brought the community together – residents had set up stalls in their roads with drinks for runners and where they tended to get blisters.”