Fast and close races expected at the Great Eastern Run on Sunday
Joe Wilkinson of Bingley Harriers is the fastest male entrant on paper, having run 66.00 when winning the Newark Half Marathon in August.
Wilkinson raced locally in April when he won the Langtoft 10k, and again in July when he took top spot in the Thurlby 10k.
A useful trio of Lincoln Wellington AC athletes will be in action and, with a personal best (PB) of 66:32 Shane Robinson is certainly one to watch. Team-mates Tom Straw and Ronny Wilson are also likely to be in the 66-minute region.
Hallamshire Harriers Jed Bartlett, Bertie Houghton and Jamie Hall are all making the trip down from South Yorkshire.
Bartlett has a 69.15 half marathon to his name already this year. He ran a 14.53 5k and a 30.46 10k in the spring, & could be a contender if he can convert these times to the longer distance.
Houghton clocked his fastest time of 71.42 when placing 5th in the 2019 Chester Half Marathon. Hall has a PB of 69.14 which he set in 2020.
Sadly Peter Robinson who finished 3rd last year has been forced to withdraw due to a hamstring injury.
Orton-based Hunts AC runner Isaac Ellard ran 71.05 at the Great Eastern Run last year, but has the potential to go considerably quicker and could be the surprise package.
Alice Belcher of Wellingborough AC clocked 77.45 when finishing 2nd in Peterborough last year.
With a 78.51 half marathon to her name this year, Ipswich Jaffa's AC's Laura Cason is likely to be in the mix. Cambridge & Coleridge's Charlotte East ran 79.46 in the same race.
Mabel Beckett of City of Norwich AC clocked a 80.09 half back in 2019 and has been going well over shorter distances this year.
Hallamshire Harrier Elaine Livera won the 2020 Retford Half in a time of 80.36 and could be a threat if she repeats that form.
Many of the fast Peterborough runners appear to be sitting the race out, but 2022 Peterborough 5k Grand Prix winner Andrew Jakeman of March AC should be on the start line. With a 71.42 half marathon under his belt this year he could well be in contention for a top 10 place.
Helpston Harriers Philippa Taylor and Paul Lunn are unlikely to feature at the sharp end of the field, but the pair of local favourites will be hard to beat in their age groups.
Lunn competes in the over 50 category, and ran his best time of 74:04 in 2019. Taylor is an over 55, and though two serious achilles operations have taken their toll she is a dogged runner and is still capable of running fast times.
With major knee surgery due for November Eric Winstone faces something of a dilemma. He has to decide whether or not his knee is up to covering 13 miles. If not he intends to take part in the curtain-raising 5km race.
The Bushfield Jogger is the sole ever-present at the event running all the previous 30 half marathons. Whether he runs the half marathon or the 5k, Winstone will wear race number 31 in recognition of his achievement.
The main race is due to start at 10.30am.