Police runner poised to retain marathon prize

Last year's mens winner John Franklin with Julian Lings and Mark Rushbrook who were 2nd and 3rd
Last year's mens winner John Franklin with Julian Lings and Mark Rushbrook who were 2nd and 3rd
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A member of the Metropolitan Police athletics club will be hoping to take the winner’s prize into custody at this weekend’s Sheffield half marathon.

Last year’s victor, Sheffield-born John Franklin, romped home with a time of 1:10:31 and will again be competing. Franklin, 37, came 31st in last month’s London Marathon and, in March, won the Woodford Green half marathon. He is one of 14 elite athletes who will be racing on Sunday as he looks to break the record set back in 2006 by Tomas Abyu of 1:04:05.

Despite the fact that the Don Valley Stadium will close later this year, the marathon will get under way at 9am from the venue as originally planned and runners will be taking the same route as previous years.

The 3km fun run will take place shortly after the start of the 13.1-mile road race at 9.15am.

Nicola Squires, who was last year’s female winner of the half marathon after finishing second the year before, has re-entered and the Hallamshire Harriers athlete will be the only elite woman running the main race.

Squires recorded a time of 1:20:22 last year which still fell short of the current record that is held by Rebecca Robinson - 1:14:52.

The challenge will also welcome people from around the globe. Lamin Sanneh and Mariama Jallow, who won the Brufut run in Gambia and as part of their prize was entered into the Sheffield race, will be running in aid in of the World Food Programme.

Over 7,500 people competed last year in what was the biggest ever Sheffield half marathon and raised £175,000.