A HISTORIC half marathon, which will commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower journey to America, will see more than a thousand of residents challenge their stamina.

The Harwich Half Marathon will take place on April 3 in a joint venture between the Rotary Club of Harwich and Dovercourt and Harwich Runners.

The event was initially planned to take place in 2020, but had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.

With more than 1,200 runners already signed up, the race will be staged on closed roads, covering much of the original route and taking in many of the historic sights of Harwich.

The first marathon was organised by Harwich Round Table in 1982, bringing almost a thousand runners and spectators out on the streets.

The majority of them were local runners, many taking on their first ever 13.1-mile event.

Andy Fern, president of the Harwich Rotary Club, said: "We are really pleased to have approval for the race and excited we can finally put it on after four years of planning.

"All our sponsors have stayed onboard and we currently have over 1,200 entries so, all being well, this will be a great day and a great event for the town and proceeds from the race will be put back to into the community."

Adventure lovers who embark on the challenge can also benefit from training plans, including international decathlete Roy Snow's original training schedule.

Snow took part in the first London Marathon in March 1981, which inspired him and Dave Chilver, who managed the Harwich Sports Centre at the time, to stage a similar event for their local community.

This is how the Mayflower marathon came to exist, featuring two laps of Harwich and Dovercourt.

Entries for the Mayflower 400 Harwich Half Marathon can be done via harwichrunners.co.uk.