Road battle of the two Nicolas

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THE female winner of the 2011 Sheffield Half Marathon will return this year to try and defend her title.

Nicola Clay, from Melton Mowbray, took top spot in the women’s race with a time of 81 minutes 26 seconds.

Nicola Squires, a Hallamshire Harrier, is also set to take part again this year and will be aiming to take the top spot after crossing the finishing line at Don Valley 34 seconds behind Clay last year.

The entry limit for the event has been lifted, with 7,000 runners now expected to take part. The current entry figure stands at 5,750.

The 13.1 mile race has increased in popularity over the years, filling to its previous 5,500 capacity almost three months ahead of race day numerous times.

The change in entry limit means slight changes to parts of the route. It will now see runners go round St Mary’s Gate roundabout, having previously been directed through the underpass. On the way back, runners will also avoid the underpass on the Moore Street roundabout and the car park on Arundel Gate.

The race will take place on Sunday, May 27.

On Easter Sunday, competitors will take part in the ‘Easter Dash’ at Graves Park, Sheffield, at 11.30am.