From opera singer to Kenyan star runner, they're all raring to go in Ealing Half Marathon (From Ealing Times)
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From opera singer to Kenyan star runner, they're all raring to go in Ealing Half Marathon
MARATHON fever is well and truly in the air ahead of tomorrow’s Ealing Half Marathon which starts at 9:15am.
More than 5,000 runners are expected to take part in the second running of the event.
The winner is expected to cross the finish line just after 10.17 am, with recommended cheering points for spectators including Uxbridge Road, Pitshanger Lane, Drayton Bridge Road and Cuckoo Avenue.
The deputy leader of the Conservative opposition in Ealing, Gregory Stafford, will be running alongside his fiancée and will be cheered on by family and, he hopes, a few from the Cleveland ward he represents.
"I ran it in two hours two minutes last year, so I’m hoping to break two hours this time," he said.
“It’s a really good thing for Ealing. So many people lined the streets last year for the race, and it really puts the borough on the map for all the right reasons.”
He will be raising money for the Meadow House Hospice.
He admits that last year some residents suffered unnecessary disruption, caused by a lack of communication, but he thinks such problems will not affect the race this time.
Also taking part is English National Opera singer David Campbell, who was inspired to be more active after finding it difficult to play football with his two sons.
“Two years ago I was almost 19 stone and very much fitted the popular stereotype of an opera singer," he said. "I was finding my job at English National Opera increasingly tiring and my increasing size was a source of frustration - not least to the costume department who had the unenviable task of continually letting out my costumes!”
He ran last year’s race in two hours five minutes and has lost more than four stone since beginning his fitness drive. He has managed to schedule his training around rehearsals, and will still be performing at the Coliseum Theatre this evening.
Elite athletes tomorrow include Run-Fast’s Matthew Kiprotich Kimutai, who finished second in the Bath Half Marathon, won the Cardiff 10K and last year's Nairobi Half Marathon.
Josphat Kiprop, 10K bronze medallist in the African Junior Championships, is another contender.
A number of road closures are in place for Sunday and details can be found on the Ealing Half Marathon website: http://www.ealinghalfmarathon.com/local-resident-information
Good luck to all those running and don't forget to Tweet us throughout the day with your pictures and comments: twitter.com/ealingtimes