Matthew Pierson tipped for race victory

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MATTHEW Pierson, a 37 year old Holmfirth runner, is expected to challenge strongly for the overall lead in Sunday’s SIG Insulations Sheffield Half Maratahon and for the Yorkshire title which is held in conjunction.

The event has attracted a record entry of 7,200 runners. The race also incorporates the South Yorkshire Championships.

The men’s field does not look as strong as last year with the top three on that occasion not entered this time.

Fergus Meade, from Leeds, was the victor last time out, followed by Mark Rushbrook and Hallamshire Harriers’ Andrew Challenger.

Hallamshire veteran Carl Thackery, who came in fifth last year, behind Steel City’s Ben Beattie, has entered.

Thackery, 49, is a former British number one for the half marathon distance and is still running well enough to be near the front whilst winning his category in the veterans section should be a formality.

The women’s field looks stronger than the men’s with the first three from last year all entered again.

Nicola Clay (Stilton), Nicola Squires (Hallamshire) and Nicki Nealon (Huncote) are again expected to challenge for the major awards with Squires favourite for the Yorkshire title.

Her Hallamshire team mate Alice Cordwell should also be well placed whilst Jenny Horne (Sheffield RC) should be in the top half dozen.

The race starts at Don Valley stadium at 9am and follows a city centre route along Fred Mully Way, Bramall Lane, Cemetry Road before returning via Eccleshall Road, Effingham Street and Brightside Lane.

The 3K fun run, starting at 9.10am, follows traffic free paths around the stadium.