RECORDS were broken as almost 7,000 entrants braved the heat and completed the Chester Half Marathon yesterday.

The first woman to cross the line was Runcorn runner Gemma Conolly, finishing in one hour, 22 minutes and 20 seconds.

She said: “I ran alone for most of the race and it was great. Although it was hot, the wind helped me to maintain my pace around the course”.

A new course record was set by last year’s winner, Kenyan born Mohammed Abu-Rezeq, who now lives in Manchester.

He shaved more than two minutes off his 2013 winning time, finishing in one hour, five minutes and 48 seconds.

The event, now in its 33rd year, saw runners of all ages and abilities compete, from those striving to achieve a personal or charity challenge, to elite athletes aiming for a new course record.

Winner Abu-Rezeq said: “I led the race from start to finish yesterday and found it pretty comfortable as I’m familiar with the route after winning last year.

“The weather was really warm, but the wind helped me get round in good time. This was the best time I’ve ever done in a UK race, and I’ll be back again next year to try to beat it again”.

Race organiser Chris Hulse said: “I am delighted with the smooth running of this year’s event. Despite the warm weather there was a welcome breeze. It was a great day, and the crowds have been out en masse to support our runners every step of the way.

“Everyone’s hard work over the past year has really paid off in making the event a success once again.

"Events like this don’t happen on their own so we would like to thank all our volunteers and sponsors for all their efforts in making the Chester Half Marathon so special.

"The runners who work so hard and have once again raised incredible amounts of money for charity are a real inspiration.”

Visit for a full list of results.

Early bird entries for the 2015 Chester Half Marathon are now open at They will close on May 31, 2014 and are priced at £26 for UKA affiliated runners and £28 for non UKA affiliated runners.